This afternoon, I picked up Sydney from daycare and went to the grocery store on our way home to purchase dinner items. Chet and I do this frequently, as I have not yet perfected planning meals WAY in advance since I still work full time (getting better at planning meals is one of my goals once I'm finished working...although I'm sure there are plenty of moms who work full time and are great at meal planning). Also, I love and am good at shopping sales and using coupons, but sometimes, like today, time gets away from me and we find ourselves at the store buying the bare necessities for our evening meal, with no coupons in hand. (There is a point to all of this, I promise.)
Sydney was tired after daycare, and I was really hoping she'd fall asleep in the car and continue to sleep in the grocery store (she still uses her infant car seat that we can carry in from the car...she can technically use it until she weighs 32 lbs, and Chet and I are having a hard time letting go of the benefit of not having to wake her up just because we've "arrived"). Alas, she did not fall asleep, and was cranky in the store (I guess I can't blame her, but it certainly makes shopping a lot more painful). We were finally ready to check out, and all of the lanes seemed equally busy. I got behind a woman about my age who was there with her little boy (happily munching on a cookie) and her own mother. The woman had quite a few items to purchase, but no more than the person I would have gotten behind in the next lane. I took out all my items and put them on the conveyor belt, and a few minutes later (once I realized things weren't progressing as quickly as I thought they should), I noticed that she had about 100 coupons. Good grief... And they weren't all "normal" coupons. She was using coupons from different stores, and the poor clerk had to ask the manager a few times if certain things were valid.
Sydney was off-and-on cranky through all of this, and then started to get REALLY cranky. I mentally glared at the woman in front of me, whose little boy was NOT cranky because he was still eating that darned cookie...Sydney doesn't eat cookies, so I couldn't use that trick...plus she had her mother there to help in case things got out of hand. I was also annoyed that she had so many coupons, but quickly realized how hypocritical it was for me to be mad at her for that since I have, on occasion, been the crazy coupon monster in a store with a long line behind me. Sigh... I decided not to be bitter, but it was hard, but it WAS better than getting flustered. To appease Sydney I ended up opening a bag of apple slices for her to eat. I should have opened them sooner, because she immediately began smiling, waving, and offering everyone apples.
We FINALLY made it out of the store, and as soon as we exited, I heard someone behind me say, "Excuse me, ma'am". (By the way, I was wearing my uniform during all of this.) I looked behind me, and there was a man about 50-years old looking like he wanted to tell me something. He pulled a dozen roses he had just purchased in the store out of his cart, handed them to me, and said he just wanted to thank me for serving our country. Although this had nothing to do with the crazy coupon monster lady, I immediately felt guilty for being so impatient in the store, and thanked him for the flowers. The encounter was a little awkward, just because things like that hardly ever happen, but not at all creepy (in case anyone was wondering). It was such a nice gesture on his part, and I shall pay the kindness forward. (By the way, I guess I felt guilty because I'm pretty sure had he been able to hear my inner thoughts while I was waiting in line at the store, he wouldn't have bought me flowers.)