Gloom and dread at the grocery store check out sounds like part of the introduction to a horror movie, but it is happening in real life. People are finding it hard to buy the bare essentials and it is taking a toll on many shoppers. With the food prices soaring people are resorting to all types of strategies to make ends meet.
The signs of this nationwide problem can be seen on the shopper’s faces and in their scarcely filled carriages. Listen to the interactions of parents and their kids as they navigate the aisles in this weekly expensive venture.
The elderly is another population group that has been hit hard with the food prices. Most are on a minimal fixed income and cannot afford to eat after all their other bills have been paid.
I was standing in a long checkout line a while ago and this elderly woman with a big brimmed hat was in front of me. I noticed a trickle of blood coming down from her temple and I quietly tapped her on the shoulder to tell her she was bleeding and I asked her if she was alright? She wiped the blood with a tissue and acted very aggravated with me.
At this point we were at least number eight and nine in line waiting for our turn. About five minutes went by and she was now bleeding more, the blood was now running down her cheek. I once again asked her if she was alright and I pointed out the fact that she was bleeding even more, she once again wiped it and turned her back on me.
A few minutes later this woman had even more bleeding coming from somewhere on her head. Now there were droplets of blood falling on the floor to the side of her. At this time she was third in line. Worried that this woman was loosing so much blood, I asked the young woman in front of her if this bleeding elderly woman could go first because she looked as if she were injured.
The younger woman took one look at the bleeding woman and agreed without hesitation. She then said that she was a nurse and asked if she could be of some help because the elderly woman looked as if she were loosing quite a bit of blood.
The elderly woman now looked fuming mad, grabbed her hat off her head with one hand and took a roast off the top of her head with the other hand. She slammed the roast on the counter, left her few items in her shopping cart and stormed briskly out of the store, swearing under her breath.
She was not bleeding at all; she had a roast beef tucked under her hat. The piece of meat was dripping as she was trying to make her way out of the store through the checkout line without being noticed. I thought she was injured. She was shoplifting. The nurse and I looked at each other, both shocked at what we had just witnessed.
My concerns might have put a stop to the woman’s meals for the next week. I did not know whether to be mad because she was shoplifting or sad because I spoiled her dinner. It might have been the only thing she had to eat for the next week?
I thought about running after her and giving her the money to buy the roast because I felt so bad. I didn’t, because by the time I had processed what had just happened, she was long gone. I could not shake the feeling that she was sitting at home eating cat food now because I caused her to loose her meal.
I felt much better about the whole thing a few days later when I say her in the liquor store buying a very expensive bottle of vodka.