Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lessons From Lucky

I was running an errand not to long ago and came upon Lucky grocery store. Oh man. I haven't seen one of those since I was a youngin so it was so very nostalgic to walk in those front doors. As a child, we used to visit Lucky for all those grocery needs. I learned priceless life lessons there. Of course this present store I found was in a completely different state and looked completely different inside from the original. No matter. Let me share some incalculable wisdom obtained solely from this franchise.

Lesson 1: Avoid cages of balls at all costs. When Boo was little-little, one glance in the ball direction would result in her squirming and bugging till she got those idolized balls. As a reader, you might suggest that a quick swat on the bottom would have done well to deter her insistence? You don't understand. This girl was determined. No swat could stop her devotion to the glorified, bouncy-ball cage of splendor. I remember having to stand there till she got it all out of her system (maybe sometimes I played a little with the balls too). Needles to say, we eventually got smart and let her carry a ball around as we shopped then snuck it away at the checkout. At any rate, stay away from cages of bouncy balls!

Lesson 2: Mom is the coolest and will let you mess around with the blood-pressure arm machine near the pharmacy every time we pick up a prescription.

Lesson 3: If you're ever in a hurry to finish making a delectable dinner for guests, and forget that you don't have any OREGANO in your cupboard, don't drive Erica over to Lucky, shove her out of the car with the directions to "get some, and get it quick" while you wait outside. If you do choose such a routine, the following will occur...

Erica will run in the store to the spice section all flustered because she has to hurry. She'll scramble over to the looming wall of spices and look for ARAGANO. She'll search and search. Knowing that she's flustered, she'll search once more thinking "Slow down girl. You missed it. Hurry, slow down!" After failing to find it, the thought will occur "Duh, maybe it's spelled URAGANO!"

The search process will repeat with lack of success only to be followed by the next somewhat doubtful thought "Duh, maybe it's spelled ERAGANO!" Mind you, the whole time she'll feel some impeding pressure because her mother (still sitting outside in the car) who was really frustrated about the setback is now probably ferocious because the time keeps ticking and ticking and ticking (sort of like when Boo would play with the balls).

After the whole ERAGANO search fails, she'll empty-handedly run like the dickens out to the car, full of trembling courage to approach her exasperated mother. The conversation will go something like this:

Mother: Where is it!!??
Erica: They don't have any here.
Mother: What do you mean? Yes they do!!!
Erica: I looked over and over. I couldn't find it. I checked for all the different spellings.
Mother: O-R-E-G-A-N-O?
Erica: Oh.

Erica will then run back in and buy the OREGANO in less than a heartbeat. Many life-lessons can be learned from this little heart-warming (or should I say heart-boiling) story like make sure you have your ingredients before you start cooking or be a patient mother or don't shove innocent daughters out of car doors while you wait outside. Mind you, those are all very good noble lessons to learn (Mom) but the one I will never forget is that if you need some spice, O-R-E-G-A-N-O is the definite way to go.

Lesson 4: After that last OREGANO lesson you might be thinking my mom was a feisty one, right? Now, now. She's a gem I tell you. Just not in that story, or the time when we were little kids (that naturally quarrel, which was what we were doing one day) and she locked us outside, dripping with sweat, while she in turn swam right in front of our tortured faces. But that's another story altogether. At any rate, this last lesson I'll share is a positive one that shaped my mentality as a young woman (not that I'm old now)...

The checkout lady at Lucky that day was a grueling meanie. Picture a middle-aged woman fraught with frown lines and a furrowed brow. Now picture a little bit of saliva drooling down her chin as she growled. Any question asked of her was responded to with with a tight remark. Basically, she sucked the happiness out of each customer as they wanderingly approached checkout. This woman was a doozie. Bummer that we (the kids and Mom) went through her line. No worry though, we made it through the line and even out the doors.

We all had two bits to say about that rude behavior as we walked to the car. How could she be so rude?! What was her problem?! How dare she?! I was all worked up and in a slight huff when mom commented "Maybe her dog died this morning." What!!?? It was a statement that jerked me into deep thought and feeling. All of a sudden I felt, what was it? Compassion? Surely her dog didn't die. Mom is just so corny sometimes. But maybe, maybe her dad died or she needed money really bad to pay for surgery or.. or.. or..

I've since talked to my mom about that day and she doesn't have the slightest recollection of it (I can tell you though that she definitely remembers the OREGANO incident). There were a couple of lessons that can be taken from that walk back to the car but the one I'm ever grateful for, that has often shaped and reshaped my thinking is this: People act all kinds of ways in all kinds of situations, positive and negative. Rather than reacting instantly, take a step back and remember who that person is, who I am, and where we are going. By doing so, often brash judgements and thoughtless reactions/behaviors are not only avoided, but that invitation of compassion and a sense of understanding connects individuals, allowing them to be more on the same page, at one with another. What a way to avert the mumbo jumbo!

So there you have it. Lessons from Lucky. Pretty cool grocery store, huh? Do you have any grocery experiences? Reminiscing has me now remembering all sorts of grocery goodness. Oh, what fun it is to shop.

1 comment:

  1. ERica! I loved those stories, especially OREGANO and the drooling meanie-head cashier. I've missed your posts, so I'm glad to see you on here again :) I'm sure I have some experiences like that to share but I'll have to think for a bit on it. I'll let you know what I come up with. Have a great day!