The Grocery Incident

I have a question for you, do you know who Rob Brezny is? If not, I urge you to subject your hungry little mind to some positive thinking in the quirky and unique way that Rob has to offer you. Go on, do it now, I’ll wait

If you bothered to look at all, you will understand when I say that today at Times grocery store in Lihue, Hawaii, I had a Rob Brezny moment.

It started out with a pile of chores to sort through, vomiting while attempting to brush my teeth (I’m 4 months pregnant), 84% humidity and an empty fridge. For those of you who have never been knocked up, waking up to empty your stomach down the drain then finding you have no food to replace it is very bad indeed. Even a piece of bread or a cookie was would have been sufficient to get me 3 miles to the market and back, but alas, there was none.

So I stuffed my belly into the car and felt like dizzy hell all the way to the store, having desperately turned up the A.C. as far as it would go. I just happened to hit EVERY red light along the way, which I thought was a bit much. I mean, there’s no need to kick me when I’m already down. I caught myself being negative and grumpy about the whole thing, and consciously made myself take a deep breath. No need, no need I told myself just chillax.  I Knew I was letting it all piss me off, and I was determined to have a good day rockin’ out with Paul Simon and folding laundry. 

The heat baking on the pavement in the parking lot hit me like a base ball bat when I stepped out of the car and I had to take a moment to steady a bit of dizziness before walking across the street, but fortunately the store was pumping it’s air conditioning to the max, so it was quite a relief to get inside. I walked around like a zombie filling the cart, having completely forgotten to bring my list and now incapable of recalling it in my brain fried state, and despite the chill air I got hot and dizzy again and decided to cool off with some yogurt for a while.

When I eventually made my way to the check out I was so hungry I could have gnawed my own hand off, and I was aching for a cold drink.

That’s when it happened.

I stood there with a total of $88.97 cents in groceries all bagged and ready to go, and my card was declined. Oh shit, how terrible, what the hell? It was too much. Fine. Done. I apologized to the cashier and to the bagger that would have to return all my items to the shelves. I put my hand on his shoulder and gave him a little squeeze with a limp smile. “Just that kind of day.” I said. I began walking out with a big sigh of resignation, facing the slap of heat with a bone tired weariness. And so it is, I said to myself.

Just then I feel a hand on my own shoulder, and a woman says “Mam? Come back inside.” I turn around in confusion and follow the retreating back of a middle aged brunette to the register I was just at, and there, she paid for my groceries.

I cried.

What a beautiful soul, a beautiful woman, to pay $88.97 for a complete stranger to have food. I was overwhelmed, speechless, just crying and smiling at her like a fool. I hugged her tightly and said thank you, which was inadequate, and which made her a bit uncomfortable, but she deserved it. Never has anyone given me such a gift, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I cried all the way home. Blame it on hormones if you like.

It wasn’t till I got home, stowing my groceries and still smiling, that I thought of Rob Brezny   “PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia.” Which is a very good book. If you decide to get it, buy the expanded addition, it’s worth it.

So that was my story for the day, and after reading about all the terrible things happening all around us, isn’t it good to know that there are also wonderful people out there as well?



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