I’ve spent the majority of today helping my mother finish some errands that she needed to get done ahead of Christmas.
After being met with ‘Fuck you, bitch’ and ‘Get out of my way, idiot’ in store, being cut off in traffic and having people flash me the middle finger while driving, having someone berate me because they didn’t like my park job, I was tired. So tired. I didn’t want to be out anymore. Grumpy people are exhausting on regular days, but when there’s so very many of them out this time of year, it’s exhausting to try and deal with.
My mother and I went into Winners for the last stop of the day and she wanted to get one pair of sweatpants for each of her sons. (She does it every year) I was just excited that it was the last stop of the day.
With four items in tow, we approached the till and it was quite a long line with only one physical till open.The woman who walked up behind us appeared to only be purchasing a coffee mug and she had a toddler who was begging her to go and whining that they didn’t want to be in the store anymore.
My mom offered that she go in front of us because, while it wasn’t a big difference in time, it was just that much faster. The woman said thank you, went in front and then she asked my mom who she was buying for. My mom told her she has four sons and she buys them one nice pair of sweatpants every year instead of pajamas. They went on to chat for a couple of minutes while they waited for their turns in line at the till and I just stood there awkwardly left out of their conversation just lurking.
When we got up to the till the cashier scanned through each pair of the pants, she pushes a couple of buttons on the till and then says ‘I owe you $14.90’.
My mom and I were both incredibly confused.
The cashier said ‘The woman in line in front of you gave me a $100 bill and asked that I use it to pay for your clothing, give you any change that is left over, and wish you a merry Christmas… so, MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ she said.
It was such a shock and a huge deal for my mom. She’s basically been budgeting since August for Christmas and the woman in line in front of us paid for our gifts out of goodness and kindness and sheer shock! She didn’t stick around to see the look on my mom’s face or anything. We couldn’t even say thank you. By the time we learned the woman in front of us had paid for my mom’s gifts, she’d long since gone.
Today’s been such a weird day. I was totally hating on humanity for all of the ugly behaviour I saw this morning and afternoon at our various stops of the day, and then this woman comes along and pays for Christmas gifts for my mom ‘just because’ and totally turns my whole mood for the day around.
To the kindest of strangers, thank you. Just being able to keep that extra $100 in her bank account, for my mom this time of year, means a great deal to her. I wish I could have stopped and thanked you in person.