A Christmas Present in June
It was like a scene out of a comedic drama, one that makes you cringe, even if it’s not happening to you. The old saying, “Truth is stranger that fiction” is a hard reality on occasion. Coincidences stacked on top of one another begin to convince a fella’ that the Divine Power loves a good story and definitely has a sense of humor.
It was Christmas Eve last year and Walmart was hoppin’. It was a mob scene taken right out of the ringing of the classic seasonal song that talks about “shoppers rushing home with their treasures”. Well, some of them would get to rush home…
There were four of us on a mission; get as many sleeping bags as possible for my family to hand out the next day when Ali got to town for Christmas. We were also collecting scads of socks and some rubber bands to roll them in for convenient handouts.
My wife, the oldest, the youngest, and I all had a heaping basket plus one more we managed to caravan as we moved like a lanky worm through the crowds toward the checkout.
Kenz, the oldest, is a natural born leader and was blazing the trail.
“There’s one right here!” she called back to us while she maneuvered the way with us in tow, me now pushing one basket and pulling the last behind like a caboose.
It was like God was on our side to get an open lane at the busiest store on the busiest day… that’s what good livin’ will do for you…
The cashier was a bit overwhelmed as we kept loading items on the conveyor then reloading baskets on the other side. We quickly developed a system just about the time we figured out the reason for our good fortune… we were in the express lane and over two or three times the “fifteen item limit” in each basket…
The other shoppers with the proper number of items were filing in behind us and beginning to grumble. “Sorry – we didn’t realize this was the express lane,” my wife apologized in embarrassment. We got loaded as quickly as possible and the cashier was kind.
I apologized to her again as I swiped my credit card so we could get our five full baskets that were clogging the entire area out of the way. “I”m sorry, sir, your card’s been declined,” she alerted me.
“Seriously?” I asked, already knowing full well she was.
I pulled my phone out of my pocket and began dialing as my wife read me the number on the card written in the fine print that I struggled to see without my reading glasses. The line behind us by that time was beginning to growl as my cell phone dropped the call.
“Would you like me to cancel the order?” the cashier asked.
“No! – Do not cancel it – We just spent ten minutes checking out – I’ll make the call outside,” I told her, and off I went… the light’s better outside anyhow.
My wife and daughters would have been in serious trouble if Walmart sold pitchforks…
By the time I got things straightened out with the overly cautious bank and back in the store to re-run the card, we’d become enemy number ones… all of us.
My wife quickly grabbed the frail woman’s groceries who was right behind us and the mob’s ringleader while she sat barking from her motorized wheelchair, “Let us get these for you, I’m so sorry!” my wife said with sincerity… You’d have thought we’d just saved her cat from a tree or something…
Once we broke outside our red faces began to cool, “Oh my gosh, how embarrassing!- That was the worst thing ever!” Kenz said. A figure of speech for a girl who works in the ICU.
Sometimes the moments that seem to last the longest end up meaning the most… and are the ones we never forget…