Friday, June 27, 2008

When Love Prevails

We went to the grocery store late last night. It was a vendor with excellent cuts of meat, but outrageous prices on the other in-aisle items we might have otherwise purchased at another local store. Our basket, while sufficiently endowed, certainly was not an order of huge size. The woman in front of us, likewise, had a small-ish order, and we both waited our turn as the cashier ran the revolving black swath of fabric that delivered the products directly to her hands, and thus, the scanner.

I may have discussed this before: Gil's fascination with putting the Order Demarcation Bar down between grocery orders on a conveyor belt unnecessarily, to my aggravated frustration. Shortly after arriving in California, I discovered the source of his 15-year Californian habitual action: the Grocery Bar Gustapo were everywhere.

This only added to my already maddening take on the action.

"Why," I wondered, "was it necessary to put down a Demarcation Bar when I am the only. other. order. in que, and I've approached the register as the cashier is handing the customer in front of me her change, thus, my products are the ONLY ones on the conveyor belt??"

And "Why," I furthered queried, "did the cashier have to look at me and ask if 'these were my groceries?'"

So, last night, as my weary body (I'd spent an eight hour day driving in bumper to bumper traffic and waiting, waiting, waiting as various locales) loaded the last item from my basket onto the belt, my exhausted brain could find very little mercy for the [seemingly, to me] air-headed question the young cashier posed to the woman whose grocery order she was completing. "This box is half-and-half, ma'am . . .is it yours?" Looking at the patron with questioning eyes.

You see, the 'half and half' she spoke of referred to the box of cake mix I had placed on the belt that had errantly fallen over while moving. It toppled over the top of the Demarcation Bar, obviously exiting the corral I had placed in front of it - not falling backwards into my order, as the cashier had assumed. Or not assumed. Or used no logic for. Whatever.

Inexplicably, my emotions roared to life. Turning to my completely unaware husband, I whispered fiercely through my teeth: "Why do these people put so much emphasis on the stupid Grocery Bar? Why don't they use their brain? Logic? Intuition? So many times it is SO OBVIOUS whose groceries are whose!!!"

Gil was startled by my sudden flex of irritation. He responded gently and with a loud voice, "They probably get in alot of trouble for intermingling orders."

Immediately, my heart was pierced. My words were construed as critical toward the young girl at the register.


I'd failed to give mercy in a state of exhaustion.

The teller cheerfully checked us out (including my errant box of cake mix) and we exited the building.

I took my seat behind the wheel. Now in private, I openly repented of my less-than-gracious attitude.

I still don't like the Order Demarcation Bar. The Grocery Bar.

I still feel it is lame-brained not to intuitively or logically figure out where one order ends and the other order starts.

But I suppose, in my repentant state, I'll surrender my opinion to a higher law: the law of love.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another . . . Romans 12:10

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