We grabbed what we needed and headed to the checkout. They don’t have self-checkouts at this store, so we hit a line that had one person in it, and she was checking out. Or trying to.
It seems there was a problem with her card. It wouldn’t work. She tried over and over, but it just wasn’t accepted. The cashier was very nice about this — she mentioned it happens all the time. However, the woman with the card was getting embarrassed. I get it, I’ve had that happen to me in the past (i.e. my card expired and I didn’t realize it). As each attempt failed, she grew more embarrassed.
Finally, in a low voice, I asked the cashier how much her groceries were. When she told me (under $30), I said that I would pay for them. As I moved to the terminal and pulled out my debit card, the woman was getting ready to walk away — without her groceries. In the same low voice, I asked her to wait. She looked at me with surprise and asked why I was doing this. I told her, “because I want to.” She looked ready to cry and thanked me. I paid for her groceries, she thanked me a few more times and left the store.
The cashier said it was a nice thing to do and I just shrugged. For some reason, I became uncomfortable. I didn’t think about what I was doing, I just did it. The Mr, in the meantime, just watched while all of this happened. He looked at me but didn’t say a word. We paid for our groceries and left the store. As we were walking to the car, he asked why I did it. I told him the same thing I said to the woman “because I wanted to.”
I have never done something as spontaneous as this. I do try to help when I can. When we got into the car, I wanted to cry…although I couldn’t tell you why.
I think there’s a difference in wanting to do a random act of kindness and/or pay it forward. Maybe it’s the same thing, I’m really not sure. Or maybe, “because I wanted to,” is all that matters.
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