Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's the Hap-Happiest Time of the Year...

Remember that scene in Braveheart?  The “FREEDOM” one?  Ever feel like shouting it out in that voice when you escape through the doors of the superstore?  No wonder so many of us want to curl up in front of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and escape to Bedford Falls. After basically opting out of the insanity, as best as I can, by giving my loved ones books and socks this year, I debated what to do with this inner peace I thought I’d achieve…
Today, standing in line at a store, it hit me. I’ll play good Samaritan at every opportunity. A young mother was in front of me at the checkout, handful of coupons, two carts, two children, been there. Baby #1, nearest me, dropped his chocolaty bribe to the floor. We all know that the five second rule does not apply at Wal-mart. Unless it is the holidays and you frantically decide to ascribe to the whole 'germs are good and build your immune system' theory. Mama was going with this philosophy, she just wanted OUT, as did we all. As she juggled her coupons, Baby #2, wallet, putting goods onto the belt, shoving bags into the cart, Baby #1 let his peanut butter glob of goodness fall, again. This was my opportunity to help. Being a brave Mama myself, I picked up the grotesque mess and handed it to him, making confirmatory eye contact with his Mom first.
Stranger danger, which has gone to the realm of Orson Wells IMHO, was tossed aside for a moment. Take the candy from the stranger behind you son, just let me check out so we can GET OUT OF HERE. Momentarily the child looked frightened, hadn’t he been warned about strangers bearing candy?  Yet, like a child, he looked into my eyes, decided I was human too AND I was holding that enticing, slobbery, dusty gob of goop he wanted, so I was good by his standards. He took it, started gnawing at it again and coughing a really worrisome wet cough I hadn’t noticed before I’d juiced my hand up with his saliva.
Trying to reach nonchalantly for my hand sanitizer I remembered my kids at his age. Wait. Dropping is a game at that age. I’d just entered in the game. It’s an unspoken rule. I’m gonna drop it and you are going to pick it up and hand it to me. You’re playing Jumanji now Lady, oh you can look away and pretend not to see me drop it again, but we both know you not only saw it, you heard the splash. Come on, you’re It, and this line is long, so this is gonna be fuuuun.
Fine, I stood by my resolve even when it entailed playing pick-up with an adorable, messy little carrier monkey. Everyone knows sweet cooties don’t count, right?

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