A Sad View Into Making Ends Meet
It is story time again with Grayson, so sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite beverage. I have a little story that I want to tell.
I was out at the grocery store this week to get our regular weekly perishables, and it was just another normal shopping trip. Comparing prices, checking fruits, and finding sales is my usual routine when in the grocery store. Since I wasn’t going in for just one item, I knew I would be in there for some time to get all that was necessary.
As I went into the checkout lane, I knew I would have to wait to complete my shopping trip. Our local store has the slowest checkout lanes I have ever encountered. It is truly sad, but it is so close to the house that I will sacrifice the wait time. When I am waiting in the checkout, I like to people watch. I do this pretty much anywhere I go, but the grocery store is a special place.
When you people watch at the grocery store, you find out what type of foods people eat, how much they pay for groceries, how they use coupons, and how they pay. It is a treasure-trove of financial information just running around you. This is the fun part when in the grocery store, especially for a personal finance blogger.
This trip was a little different. As I sat in the checkout lane, calculating my overall cost (I like to do this to see how close I get to the final bill), I noticed something going on with the gentleman in front of me.
He was checking out with his child and he was buying all good foods. You know, fresh vegetables, fruits, and just all around good food. You don’t see that much at our grocery store, so this was refreshing. As the employee finished checking him out and gave him the total, I noticed a reaction on the man’s face.
He didn’t have enough money!
I don’t know the man’s situation, but I could tell that his child had not had enough to eat. He was lively, but just looked a little underfed. While I normally wouldn’t look twice, this situation struck a nerve with me. This man was trying to buy good, healthy food for him and his son, but couldn’t afford it.
To get to the point where he could afford it, he had to take away bags of dried beans. Now, if you don’t know, you can do a lot of things with dried beans. They are a great source of energy and can last a long time. They are awesome when you are on a budget, but this man couldn’t afford them. I was irritated with this situation.
The people in my area are usually at the poverty level, though I am not. We bought in the area because we could easily afford the house, but didn’t do a good enough job vetting the area and that is why I am trying to sell the house. There are many nice people that live around the area, but not in our neighborhood. Oh well.
Again, as I noted, I don’t know this man’s situation. He could just be really bad with money, but he seemed like a generally nice man. He asked politely to use my rewards card and I happily obliged. He was well spoken and treated others in line with the utmost respect. He also treated his son very well. That being said, the man couldn’t even afford beans.
I Decided Something
Since I was up in line after this man, I decided to do something that I would almost never do. As the man walked out of the grocery store, I decided to buy the beans that he had the cashier take off his bill and give them back to the man. I had to run out of the store to catch the man, but he was very happy that he got the beans. I told him that I didn’t know of his situation, but no one should have to give up quality food. I am not writing this to toot my own horn, but more of showing the true view of poverty. There should be no cases where people cannot afford to buy dried beans. I know it is more rampant around the country, but it truly frustrates me.
There are many people out there that are just struggling to make it. They want to do things better for themselves, but might not have the ability to do so. I think sometimes we look at those less fortunate and just assume that they haven’t worked hard enough. This grocery store lesson taught me that we can’t judge people based on what we witness. This man really wanted to provide good nutritious meals for himself and his son. That is responsible in my book.
What do you think of this situation? What would you do if you were in the checkout lane with this man?
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