Great Moment at Wegmans

You probably didn’t know that grocery stores are integral to some Spain family stories.  For example:

  • If you send my grandfather to the grocery store in town, plan on him being gone for about two hours.  As a kid growing up, we knew that going into the store with him meant being treated as a celebrity.  He’d being going in there just for milk and I wouldn’t be surprised if four things happened each time:  1) The milk had spoiled by the time he left. 2) He would have to stop again on the way home at the convenience store to purchase new milk. 3) That his left hand didn’t have bruises from holding the milk all that time.  And 4) That his right hand didn’t throb from all the handshaking he did.
  • I worked as a cashier for a few years at the local supermarket.  One late night, an attractive brunette came to my register.  I briefly looked at her item and saw a 12 pack of cans in a silver box with red cursive writing.  Being the rico suave gentlemen I know you all know that I am, I asked in a gentlemen-ly (read: deep) voice, “Can I see some ID maam?”  She smiled, then giggled, then stared right into my eyes.  I said again, with equal debonair, “No really miss, I do need to see some ID.”  She didn’t show the same amusement this time.  I think the foot stomped in frustration but I couldn’t be sure because all I heard her say was, “For this?”  “Yep, we have to check IDs for beer sales.” (Oh yea, pouring on the Spain charm).  With some attitude that to this day still gives me a frown she says, “But it’s Diet Coke.”  Defeat.  Seriously, at that time, if you put a 12 can pack of Coors Light and Diet Coke next to each other, they look exactly the same!

Wegmans is a mecca for grocery store shoppers.  In various parts of the country, if you say “Wegmans”, they will probably clutch their hand to their heart and say, “Oh!  How we need one of those around here.”  But Wegmans is now the home to one of my favorite grocery store stories.

I was bringing my cart towards the register and a grandmother came racing past me with her grandson in tow.  As they passed, I heard her sing to her grandson, “We’re late. We’re late.  For a very important date.”  She asked him if he had ever seen Alice in Wonderland, and he in a very out of breath way said, “No”.  He points out different things along the way that he’d like to check out.  Not in an annoying way, more in an inquisitive way. They get to the register and I pull in behind them.  The kid looks over at the candy, his hand grasping a Three Musketeers bar (side story, this kid got major points in my book for grabbing at that candy bar.  See, if there was any candy bar I really wanted to try even though I’m completely allergic to it, it would be a Three Musketeers bar).  He says, “Grandma, can I get this?”  She responds, “No sweetie…” and goes into another chorus of the song as she smiles and bends down to rub his head and get the candy from his hand, “No time to say hello, goodbye!  We’re late! We’re late! We’re late!”.  He looks at me midway through the chorus with a big smile.  I don’t know if it was to say, “Hey dude, you want to buy this for me?” or “Get a load of my silly grandma.”  I think it was the latter.  She rings her items up, picks up the kid’s hand, and leads him towards the exit.

I say hello to the cashier but for some reason keep my eyes on these two.  In the Wegmans I was at, you have to pass the flower section in order to exit.  Grandma was going at a good clip. And her voice wasn’t half bad as she continued with the “We’re late!”.  She’s a good step ahead of him and his eyes catch the flower section.  I hear, “Grandma, can I buy you a flower?”

It was as if the world stopped.  The grandmother freezes in her tracks.  The grandson, with his eyes still fixated on the flowers, nearly bumps into her leg from the sudden ceasing of movement.  And all I heard was “Muah muah muah” from the cashier as if she was the teacher in those Charlie Brown commercials.  The grandmother turns around, bends down a little bit, puts her hands on his cheeks lifting his face towards hers, looks out at the flowers and says, “Well which one would you buy Grandma?”  The kid didn’t even blink pointing out a pretty nice arrangement.  Grandma said, “Oh that’s a nice arrangeme…” but then, and not in an annoying way, more as if he just caught sight of Mickey Mouse, he suddenly changed his mind to say, “No I think those would be better.”  Grandma paused, looked around for a few second as her grandson did the same, and said, “Well one day you can buy any flower you’d like for Grandma but right now, we’ve got to get going.  Ok?”  He says, “Ok grandma!  We’re late right?”  She responds, “That’s right!” and she continues out the door singing.  But this time, he was right next to her.  Right in step and in tune with her.

No matter how busy life may be…  No matter how late you might be to something… don’t forget the little things.  Sometimes you need to stop and make someone’s day.  Sometimes you need to stop and pay attention.  Sometimes just a quick moment to push everything else out of the way and focus in on one person’s wish can make a world of difference.

Thanks for reading…


One Response to “Great Moment at Wegmans”

  1. Chris Melville Says:

    This was really good. Almost teared a bit at the end 🙂

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