There was no line. This isn’t uncommon at the “self-checkout” at our Albertson’s. I swiped my groceries (party stuff for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight), and paid. As I pulled my sacks from the kiosk, I noticed a quarter in the change return. I’d used a debit card so I knew it wasn’t mine. No biggie, I handed it to the self-check helper and continued to load my groceries as the woman went off to help someone else.
Then I saw it. A twenty-dollar bill in the tray of the next kiosk. Someone had gotten cash back and forgotten to take it. I hurried to get it and looked around for the person who had just left. A man assured me it was the woman who was pushing her cart out the door. I raced after her. She shook her head. No, she hadn’t gotten cash back. I took it back and wandered around the kiosks looking for anyone who might be looking for it. Finally the helper woman returned and I handed it into her. The man was now certain it was some other person and helper gal thought she knew who he meant.
Nothing major. I had a strange thought as I reached my car. It had taken me at least five minutes to realize that I wasn’t surprised that the woman I asked said the money wasn’t hers. I mean, to hear friends in other cities talk, that wouldn’t happen in a lot of places. If I hadn’t taken it myself, whomever I offered it to probably would have. I don’t know.
I’ve lived here so long that I don’t have any experience with a “real world” that is like that. My real world has people who are honest more often than not. As a matter of fact, they’re honest so much that we never think about it until someone says something.
As I mulled this over and unloaded my cart into my car, a woman stopped me and said, “I just want to tell you how nice it is to see people being honest.”
I misunderstood. My immediate reply was, “I was just thinking about that! I am so much more surprised that I’m not surprised that she said it wasn’t hers.”
I just realized that she meant me. How funny.
You know, I like it. I live where we’re not so jaded as to assume the worst about those around us. That’s a beautiful thing.