I headed out to Walmart for the third time in a week, as you do. And I wasn’t happy about it. Nossir. Walmart is my most hated of marts.
Cold winds whipped around me as I got out of my car. Freezing splashes of rain hit my cheeks as I power-walked through the parking lot.
My sour mood ratcheted up another notch.
I inspected a few carts, trying to avoid a wobbly one. But they’re all wobbly. Of course the cart was also wet. Grrrrrr.
I started to push my wobbly, wet cart toward the main entrance. I noticed a man and his young daughter come in right before me.
The man had one hand on his cart and the other was holding his daughter’s hand. His head was scrunched over his shoulder like he was talking on his phone. The little girl kept trying to reach up on top of the cart. He walked slowly. Very slowly.
Great, I thought. Now I have to put up with this slow-walking jackass on his phone. It’s cold and wet, and I don’t want to be here, and now I can’t get around this slow guy who can’t even pay attention to his own daughter who’s trying to get in the cart but can’t because her dad is so distracted by his phone that he won’t walk faster or even help her into the cart. I mean, c’mon.
We finally got through the metal detectors, the Redbox, and the soda machines of the entry way. I jutted around the man and his daughter as soon as I could. They had cost me at least 12 seconds of my life I was never going to get back.
What I didn’t know
I glanced over my shoulder to see if the dad had put away his stupid phone yet.
Then I saw something that made me feel like dirt. Dirtier than dirt, actually. The dirtiest dirt underneath a mound of dirty dirt.
I saw something that made me want to crawl inside the deli case and hide between turkey and cheese.
Now that I had a better perspective, I could see what was really going on with this man and child; this father and daughter.
The little girl wasn’t trying to get in the cart, and the man wasn’t talking on his phone. This precious little girl was helping her dad steer the cart because he was physically disabled. He chose to use his one good hand to hold his daughter’s hand.
Here I was cursing my trip for such petty inconveniences. Here was this father, who couldn’t move his neck much, smiling at a trip with his daughter. Then, as if God Himself were nailing spikes in my pride, the little girl smiled up at me.
I disgust myself sometimes.
This time of year can get crazy. Just remember to change your perspective sometimes. Remember that you’re not always right, and that things aren’t always what they seem. If you don’t, you could end up being a jackass hiding inside a deli case.