Giving “Just Because”


Imagine about four inches more food on top and bottom

Divine Love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive, and I am grateful.

I’ve been praying that prayer twice every Sunday that I attend services since I started going to my present church in 2005. I’m trying to live that prayer and pray it during the week as well. I’m learning how to give, and, in many ways, I do believe I am receiving everything back and more that I have ever given.

Monday I went grocery shopping at WalMart. I had let my pantry and refrigerator go bare. I had gotten home from a trip to Japan a week earlier, but I had some kind of GI bug and didn’t feel much like eating, so the little I still had was sufficient for the entire week.

By Monday morning, except for a few Nutrisystem entrees that I never did throw out, there was not any food in the house. There were condiments, half a bottle of V8, and pickles in the fridge, a variety of teas in the pantry, and spices in the cabinets, but that was all. There was nothing left to concoct a meal.There was not even any more spaghetti to cook and cover with V8 juice like I had done two nights before. (What can I say? It tastes somewhat like pasta sauce and I was hungry.)

By the time I got to the check out line, I had an entire basket overflowing with food. Since I am solely responsible for only my own meals, much of my basket contained single serving entrees. I hate to cook just for myself. Yes, I know that I could cook as much as the recipe calls for and freeze the rest to consume at a different time. However, my stomach does not seem to have a functioning off-button. If I cook enough for four, it may take me an extra meal, but I usually eat the entire thing. Then I get mad at myself. This way at least I have partial control over portion size.

There I was with my overflowing basket. The check out lines had started to back up. Two people were in front of me. I had chosen the shortest line available realizing only too late that the lady in front of me had a basket just as full as mine. It was impossible to see her basket from behind until she started unloading.  When I finally saw the entire contents of her basket, I looked at the other lines and figured it would be just as fast staying where I was.

The clerk looked at me when she was about half finished and said she would be with me as soon as possible. I don’t know why she felt she had to tell me that. I was the one who had decided to stay put. Maybe I looked angry. I tend to look like I’m frowning for no reason.  I told her I wasn’t in a hurry. She finished checking and bagging all the purchases and requested that the lady pay $3.25.

Evidently, there are things that the food benefits program will not cover. The woman kept saying she knew there was enough money in the account to cover all the groceries. Before I started blogging today, I tried to find out what those items are by calling the benefits office, but the guy I talked to could not tell me what food items were not covered. Also, there does not seem to be a list on the website.

Whatever it didn’t cover, she obviously had it in her basket. She did not have the $3.25 to pay. That meant she had to go through the entire receipt to discover what she had purchased for that amount. The receipt was close to being 18 inches long. Did I say her basket was overflowing? That included things on the lower rack as well. I honestly didn’t time her transaction, but it seems it was close to a half hour that I had already waited in line.

The lady kept insisting she bought nothing but food. The cashier had to talk to the manager to explain the situation to her. The manager came back to the register to handle the transaction. The woman couldn’t understand what she could have possibly put into her basket that wasn’t covered. The woman and the manager went back to the service area to go over the list of foods not covered. I waited. So did the four other people in line behind me. I felt sorry for them because I would be taking as much time as the lady in front of me to check out.

The conversation had already taken at least fifteen minutes in addition to the time already spent. I was trapped. You get in those lines and there is no escape. I am extremely patient, but being trapped in the grocery line is not one of my favorite places to be. Finally, that prayer came to me. I said, “I’ll pay the money for her.” No one paid attention at first. All three were in serious discussion over this $3.25 bill. I said it once again, “Did you say $3.25? I’ll pay it.” I wanted to add, “Just please move on out. It’s my turn now.” But I didn’t.

The lady turned and looked at me. The manager just got a blank stare on her face. The clerk said, “Will that be cash or charge?” I already had my billfold out and pulled out a $5.00 bill. She rang up the purchase and the lady and the manager moved over to the service area to discover together what could have been charged that the great state of Texas would not pay for.The clerk handed me the receipt and I had to walk it over to the lady and the manager.

I again felt sorry for the people behind me because I had to make two transactions. I had bought all my gifts for my Little Angel and wanted it rung up separately, thus lengthening my time at the register.

I was finally checked out. I try to buy for at least two weeks and hopefully longer because I hate to shop. The lady walked by pushing her cart and said thank you. Obviously they had discovered the guilty object. The clerk said, “I think it was the powdered donuts. I think those are included under candy.” I looked at the lady and hoped that the donuts weren’t for her. It was on the tip of my tongue to say something like, “I hope I didn’t help raise your blood sugar out of control.” But that probably would not have been taken with the sincerity with which it would have been delivered.

I had paid for a selfish reason. I was tired of standing in line. I didn’t like feeling trapped. I was getting hungry. The bathroom looked like it was four blocks away. I wondered if Divine Love still works with an attitude like that. Would I rack up the brownie points if my motives weren’t pure? Would my giving be blessed and multiplied with those ulterior motives ? I wondered.

As I left the line, the clerk thanked me for paying for the lady’s donuts. She said, “That was very kind of you. You really made my day.” I just kind of sheepishly smiled and moved on, knowing I probably didn’t qualify for the accolade of being the altruistic person she thought I was. It sure is hard to give “just because”. I hope some day I might be able to do just that. Namaste. Attic Annie

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4 Comments

Filed under Casual conversation, diary, general topics, musings, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Giving “Just Because”

  1. So your motives weren’t so pure at first. So what? You only thought those thoughts to yourself. To any other observer, you did a kindness to the woman in need. And you’re conscience made you examine your motives later and recognize the need for a more generous spirit at times. We’re none of us perfect. Don’t beat yourself up for this.

    • atticannie

      I was really just pondering. I’m light years ahead of what I used to be and happy to be here. Maxine claims I get the brownie points anyway even if my motives were suspect. Yahoo. She’s my guru in things spiritual. I just want to reach the plateu of “master” before I leave this realm….lol

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  2. freedomactionnow

    “The clerk said, “Will that be cash or charge?”
    For $3.25?????

    “… she had to go through the entire receipt …”
    In a resonable world, the receipt would have some sort of notation for things not covered. They already do, for taxable and nontaxable stuff.)

    “I had paid for a selfish reason.”
    There are some folks who argue that altruism is really selfishness (Objectivists, I think). I think they’re nuts.

    (Sometimes I think you’re too hard on yourself. You did a good thing; it’s OK.)

    • atticannie

      Read response to territerri. I wasn’t really trying to “beat myself up” rather I was just “philosophi-ing” on the concept of freely giving. How many of us have true unselfish motives when we dole out things to others? If we only knew….

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