Sunday, February 17, 2008


When I read Linda's blog about the conversation she overheard, it reminded me that I wanted to blog this conversation I heard at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. I had gone to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things for today's dinner, and being new back in town, I have no clue where to find things in the store, so I had to go up and down several aisles before I found the items I was looking for. I got stuck behind a couple, probably in their later 60's or early 70's, and I could tell things weren't going well on their shopping trip. And I was actually stuck behind them for three full aisles, starting in the soup aisle. The woman had a list in one hand, and with the other hand she was picking up cans of soup and reading the labels and checking back on her list.

"Here, you can have this kind. Should I get a couple of cans?"

"Don't want it."

"Okay, let's see. Oh, you can also have this one. Should we get this?"

"Don't want it."

"Well, dear, you always have soup for lunch, so we'll have to find something you will eat."

"Don't want it."

"Will you eat this kind?"


This poor woman went through every brand of soup, reading labels, and when she found something that matched her list, she kindly suggested they purchase that one. And every time he said the same thing. "Don't want it."

Finally she gave up, put about four different cans in her basket, held her tongue, and went around the corner to the next aisle. Here were crackers.

"These are on the list. Do you want these?"


"How about these?"


She put a box of crackers in her cart and continued on to the next item on the list. Of course he didn't want whatever that was either. I was amazed at how calm she remained, and at how kindly she spoke to this obviously angry man.

In the third aisle, in some dressings or sauces of some kind, she again asked:

"You can have this one. Shall I get it?"

"Nope, don't want it."

She looked at him, love and concern on her face, and said, "If you don't decide to get some of these things, you are going to starve."

To which the man replied: "I don't care. If I can't eat what I want, I'm not going to eat."

"Okay," she said, apparently having had it with him, but still in a very loving voice, "let's check out."

I felt two very strong emotions as I eavesdropped on their conversations. One was obviously that I felt sorry for him. He must have been given orders by a doctor or dietitian to eliminate some ingredients from his diet, and he certainly wasn't happy about it. But I also felt such compassion for the woman. She tried so hard to please him, offering him numerous things in place of the now forbidden ingredients, and nothing she could do pleased him. But she kept on trying. She remained calm. She was full of kindness in her conversation. She never gave up. I was so blessed by her public display of love. And I walked away, praying that if I was ever faced with something like that, that I would be half as kind and loving as she was. And I also prayed that this man's anger would subside and that he would accept whatever fate was dealt to him, and that he would come to realize that his wife was only trying to help him.


Riky said...

That is why a woman has to go to the grocery store alone. If they don't know what it is, what is in it and that it is good for them they will eat it!!!

Sage said...

I guess you are right, Riky! But I felt so sorry for this woman as he argued with every single choice she made. I wonder what he's eating. ~marge~