Not If, But When?

Why do we have to treat each other so poorly?  As human beings, why can't we accept each other... differences included?  Maybe it's because I have stubbed my toe one too many times today or because, even though my house is really clean, Lily said it smells funny (she doesn't like Pinesol apparently), but after today's episode at Dollarama, I have had enough!  Lily, Lexi, and I went out looking for some craft supplies (which we ended up not finding) and headed over to the dollar store afterward.  Man, was it busy!  Lily found what she wanted and so did Lexi, so we headed to the check-out.  The lines were monstrous, but we tried to pick the one that looked like it would go the fastest.  We really weren't in any rush, but as many of you know, having a 2 year old (who doesn't listen very well lately) in a dollar store is like... well, it's not pleasant.  (This story is getting way toooo long)...
There we were, excited about our bow and arrow purchase and there was a cute older couple in front of us.
By the way they were dressed, I guessed they were Hutterites or Mennonites.  They had a basket full of boxes of mints.  It ended up being about 100 single packages of mints.  I knew it was going to take some time to ring it all through and I wasn't excited about it, but I just tried to keep the girls' minds busy so they didn't go crazy waiting in line.  The man and woman were very friendly and chatted with us a little.  They both had such sweet countenances.  I almost wanted to invite them to go to lunch with me, but... you know.  Anyways, the cash clerk started ringing in their purchases and realized that the boxes didn't have bar codes on them and that she would have to scan every one.  Well, the line behind me did not like that at all.  They kept saying things about how long this was taking and why in the world was she scanning each one.  Working in retail myself, I knew that each flavour of mints probably had a different code and this was needed for inventory purposes.  And since each box had different amounts of each flavour, they had to be opened and counted.  Anyways, the other customers became quite loud in their comments and they became more rude each passing minute.  Soon they were making fun of how many mints were being bought and ridiculing the clerk for scanning each one.  The poor older couple were so embarrassed.  The clerk was embarrassed.  And I was getting madder by the minute.  I wish this story would turn into one where I am the heroine, but I am ashamed to say it does not.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I hate confrontation.  I end up getting flustered and saying things I shouldn't.  Sometimes I even cry, so I try to avoid it at all costs.  Even when the woman bought baby powder (after the mint transaction) and the others in line started commenting on how her husband only pays for his own stuff, I didn't say a word.  I was thinking that since the couple were probably from a community of people, they were buying the mints for everyone, and the baby powder was for personal use, so obviously they wouldn't pay for it with the same money that bought the mints.  But, still I didn't say anything.  I just gave dirty looks.
I was shocked and upset and hurt.  The poor woman was so flustered that she left without her change and the clerk had to call her back to give it to her.

I am most disappointed in myself.  How could I not protect this couple, who made me feel so good by being so kind and friendly to me.  In reality, I know I would have said something I would regret, but I regret saying nothing more.  I try to be better everyday.  I set goals and work on things I know I am not good at.  I try to develop patience and talents to bless the lives of others, but when it really counts, I let myself down.  In this case, I let everyone down.  I could have taken the opportunity to swim against the current and show what it means to have Christ-like love.  This experience has taught me a lot.  Hopefully, next time (because I know there will be a next time) I will have the courage to be the person I expect of myself.  The road seems really long...  The question isn't If  I will become that person, it's WHEN?  (And now I have to go "work" on patience).

1 comment:

  1. I think we've all had those moments when we wanted to say something. The other day I was in a store and there was a child somewhere in the store that was freaking out. The cashier commented and said "it sounds like someone's not happy" and then the woman behind me said really rudely "It sounds like someone has a temper" I then said "It sounds like someone is tired or hungry" no confrontation, I just said it like I was joining in a conversation. It felt good to stand up for parents of all cranky children. I won't tell you what I wanted to say to the woman. I'm the same as you though, I get worked up then I get flustered and want to cry etc. It's really sad to me how people treat each other sometimes. Sometimes I wish I lived in a bubble so I wouldn't have to deal with situations like this one. I'm sure that the couple was just grateful that you were nice to them (and didn't grumble). Sorry this is such a long comment... I'll stop now.