I hate shopping! There, I admitted it. If I can’t get to the store by 5 a.m., I don’t want to go. The reason is simple enough – rude angry people. Not just the customers, but the store employees too. When you go really, really early; you usually find a lot fewer people and most of them will smile (part of this may be that we know we are all idiots getting up extra early just to get to the store). However, this time of year is the worst.

Well, I was completely taken aback yesterday at the mega store (yes it is one of the big chain stores). I couldn’t go until after 10 a.m. because I had to pick up my meds, so I just waited to take care of the whole dreaded thing at one time. My visit started with the normal long wait at the Pharmacy, but while I was standing there I was actually joking with the clerk – AND SHE WAS LAUGHING WITH ME!!??

Then, I turned to continue my store assault – defenses up – but there was this guy – also laughing with us. I smiled and cautiously skated around him since I believed him to be not of sound mind. Joining in a humorous moment at a store – don’t be ridiculous!

I proceeded with fear into the children toy area. My safety mechanism’s on full alert owing to the fact that this is just before Christmas. Once again I was taken aback, other customers in the area were responding to my “hi with a smile” back – with the same! I was beginning to feel like I was in a strange episode of The Twilight Zone (for you younger readers – Google it, worth checking into the videos/stories).

twilight zone

(Click on the pic and it will take you to my fav episode – the night of the meek)

Then the most bizarre of all. I was looking for replacement ink cartridges in the electronics department, and an employee approached me with a smile and said “Can I help you find something?” Okay now I was really getting scared – someone actually appeared out of nowhere to help me – I didn’t have to go hunt them down?? I explained to her what I was looking for and the shelf where it is supposed to be was empty, to which she replied, “I think we may have gotten some in, wait here for a moment please and I will look in the back.” I just stood there looking at her in disbelief. I may have shaken my head in agreement but, in all truth, I don’t remember.

dont panic

NOW WAIT A MINUTE – I’m in a large chain store. It is just before Christmas. I am in one of the worst departments of this store during this time of year. And an employee just appeared out of nowhere, requested to help me, and is even going to check the back room stock? I’VE BEEN ABDUCTED BY ALIENS – I KNEW IT WAS GONNA HAPPEN SOME DAY!!! Eeeekkk!!

I couldn’t move. I found I was staring at the numerous TV’s on the wall in a daze and a customer went by me, smiled and actually said “Merry Christmas!” I smiled back and returned the phrase, but I was also pinching my hand now, sure that I was dead. Ouch, nope.

The helpful employee actually came back – and with my ink and another boxed set in hand. She said she found both, and since the set I on sail this week, she thought (yep THOUGHT) I might want it instead.   I could feel tears of amazement welling up as I politely thanked her for her efforts and took the boxed deal from her hand.

I went through the rest of the store, doing my usual round of shopping and encountering more of the same…smile’s, HI’s, Merry Christmas’s , all kinds of people being polite and courteous. I even went to check out and had a little older man and women pull up in line behind me, and I did my usually “You only have a few things, please go first” – and they thanked me?!?

When I was completely done, car packed and sitting in the front seat getting ready to start the car; I pondered the last few hours (yes, it takes me from 2-4 hours to shop now – another big reason for hating it!). I started my car and proceeded to pull back, but admit that I was not completely paying attention – but another driver was. I was looking over my shoulder to the right backing up and, when I came back to the left to check, she was sitting there – patiently smiling and waving me to continue, it was safe!

smile teacup pig

I drove down the aisle to the end and paused. There were no other vehicles coming or even near me, so I took a moment to contemplate the last few hours. It was a Christmas Miracle! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. Yes, wishing on a shooting star makes your dreams come true. Yes, there are angels watching over us. And yes, people can be nice, and polite, and decent to one-another. No matter what ugliness maybe in the news, and no matter what I may have experienced in the past; this was the wondrous thing I had been wishing to see. So I send out a huge THANK YOU to the universe for restoring my faith in the human part of humanity!

Merry Christmas to all!

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