From a Distant View Point

Having a three day weekend (even with work being required at some point) I was planning on a ton of nothing, with the obligitory scrubbing of the abode and feeding of the herd of animals thrown in for continuity.

As per usual in my household, Best Laid Plans and all that dreck got shoved to the wayside as the spouse and I were informed by the 'Rent that she had a full grocery list and she expected us to go not only shopping WITH HER, but to the store of her choosing, which is INDEED outside of the convenient driving area.

So we load up the Parade of Spaz and away we drive. We get to the store, and I get the 'Rent her shopping scooter and the spouse gets a cart for himself and takes off for parts unknown to get our shopping done, while I trail the 'Rent getting her taken care of.

We had a total of maybe 20 items. The 'Rent had a full page list, so the spouse made it to the register before me. I had a few items to add to the conveyor so as the 'Rent and I passed I gave them to him and followed in her wake.

Two minutes later the spouse grabs me and tells me he forgot his debit card so I have to go run mine. I ask him to help the 'Rent while I go take care of the grocery bill. The cashier stops me and says, "You know what I see when I look at you all? Love. You are a good family. Thank you for blessing me with you today."

I was shocked. My inner dialog was no where near as good as her perception of me. In that moment though, I turned around to get the spouse so he could do what he had to with our groceries and I could finish helping the 'Rent, and I did so with a completely new frame of mind and heart. Her words made me stop looking at it as an annoying chore (which it still is) and look at it as helping my mother who can't do for herself anymore. She spends all of her time trapped in the house, and this was her chance to get out for a couple of hours. So I took my time and whatever she needed I did.

I thanked the cashier on our second trip through the check out line, because with her one simple statement she reminded me that what people see us doing, should be an outer display of what we are feeling. It doesn't matter if the 'Rent makes me crazy or angry, I need to work on myself and remind myself that she is just getting by too, and be more patient. It made our entire outing far more enjoyable.


  1. In a way, I envy this. My mother, through her own actions and neglect, is now unable to even do just that, a simple trip to the grocery store and tool around in a motorized scooter. Instead she spends all her time trapped in her house, and her only human contact is whatever managed to tumble in thru the front door.

    Regarding the outer subtext matching your inner dialogue/narrative, it's kinda like that mantra you hear in AA or other support groups, "Fake it to make it." And in a way, you did just that. Even if you were on autopilot and not really aware of doing, you were going thru the motions. You were faking it, in a way. There physically but not mentally/emotionally. And it took a stranger to validate the scenario. I still say that you handle this much much better than I. Even just reading this, it makes me wonder if you were able to get her out of the house more, if it'd make both of you a bit happier and more peaceful.

    To me, I love grocery shopping. I love wandering without a list actually, so every single aisle must be gone down, contents considered, ruminations of meals to come. Very zen and peaceful. I love going on the very day of a snow storm, not the day before. But the day of. Hardly anyone there, and you have the whole place to yourself.


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