A Change In Prospective

I’m in the local market when they first open adhering to, the early bird catches the worm, or fish, in my case since I’m shopping for sardines.

Not just any brand, but one with the lowest sodium count.

A clerk stocking tuna says, “They’re expensive. Why not get the cheaper one.”

“Because they’re better for you. Lower in salt.”

He looks at me like I have three heads.

“What’s wrong with a little salt?” It’s 7 a.m., and not up for a debate.

I just shrug and move on.

Me and my two cans, approach check-out. A middle-aged woman with a filled cart cuts in front of me. The cashier, reading the Daily News, looks at me and yawns.

The woman doesn’t even notice me, so involved with her groceries.

I wait and wait and wait and wait.

The other cashier is shooting the breeze with the bread man. I ask nicely if she’d check me out. “I’m not set up yet,” she says, still flirting with Levy’s Jewish Rye.

Patience not being one of my strong points, is about to knock all the cans of Chef Boyardee Ravioli on sale, 3 for 5, off their shelf.

Finally Madam Grocery and her 10 bags, leave.

When I hit the street, I see her up ahead, struggling. I have one word for her…DELIVERY. But they charge 5 bucks, so now I decide, she’s not only rude, but cheap.

Despite this, I mosey up to her, my Joan of Bark coming out. “Do you need help ma’am?”

Turns out, she works for a wealthy couple on Park and 90th as their cook. They were coming home for the first time since last year, so she had to stock up on everything.

When I say, you could have had it all delivered, she says, she feels bad costing them more money as if they’re on Food Stamps.

Though wanting to smack her, I like her right away, especially when she moves her mask without me asking, so I can hear her.

I take two bags and walk Mary three blocks, while she chats about cooking, soups and casseroles being her specialty. As a young ‘un, as she calls herself, growing up in the south, her mother who worked as a cook, taught her to be one too.

I have visions of Abileen in The Help, telling Mae Mobley…you is smart, you is kind, you is important.

As we get to the front of her building, I say only half kidding, “Mary, if I ever have the means, will you come cook for me?”

“Sure ah will,” she says, “and thanks for helpin’ an old woman like me.”

Kindness changes things, including you.  


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, food, grace, humanity, humor, inspiration, money, New York City, words, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to A Change In Prospective

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I know you are right about kindness changing everything, but I don’t think I could bring myself to see past her rudeness cutting in front of me. I almost always have a full cart and let anyone with a few goods in front of me.
    I’ll try to be more forgiving of rudeness in the future, but don’t hold your breath. I guess that means no new friends for me, ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know Skinny, I don’t think it was malicious as it was thoughtless so it was hard to stay mad. She was clearly thinking about the people she works for who by the looks of their building, could afford the delivery charge and then some. I’m betting, like me, you would have liked her and I always let people go ahead of me if they have say, coffee and a paper. Where I live though, you rarely get even a nod from the entitled neck of the woods. I always remind myself, it’s their karma Susannah, not yours. Thanks, as always. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are amazing! How could you offer to help someone who had selfishly hurt you??? I would have mentally kicked her. The last thing I would have done is offer to help. I think, given enough time, you could turn the world upside down. Surely your wonderful example will make me kinder to people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my heart, ❤️ kindness goes a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kind and hate are four-letter words. Kind gives back. Hate just takes. Now you have a new cook. (someday) Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kingmidget says:

    Your initial impatience and annoyance was well-justified, but … this is what happens when we realize that the people we come across out there in the world have their own stories. It’s wonderful when we have these moments and then learn a story that makes it a bit better. Mary would be a wonderful character in a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, she would be. Her devotion alone left me impressed…an old school worker who took her job to heart. She was so wrapped up in her employer’s needs, she didn’t even see me. It wasn’t anything more than that Midget, so I’m glad my instincts told me to help her. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    It’s funny. As I was reading, I also thought of The Help. And she probably didn’t even see you, you know? Focused on getting her shit done, not wanting to find herself in trouble. That somehow, after all that you saw that and then lent her a hand? Well, that is just a beautiful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorryless says:

    There is every chance I wouldn’t have made it to that conversation. I have a history when it comes to grocery store lines, but that’s another post for another prescription medication I do not yet have.

    As for you, thank you. For doing what is seldom done anymore. Looking past a slight and building kindness from the void.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like a sweet woman. I think, given time, you’d make friends with everyone in New York. 🙂 It’s a good aspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Patricia says:

    I’m not surprised that you helped her. You are kind and thoughtful. I think you follow the rule…treat people the same way you want them to treat you. 😻

    Liked by 1 person

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