Mystery woman at Aldi

To the Mystery woman who bought my groceries last night at Aldi’s:

It’s taken me all morning to figure out what to say, so I’ll just make it short and sweet.
I was more than prepared to buy my items.
They were budgeted.
They were planned.
They were strategically placed in my cart for a fast checkout.

I just got back from the bank.
I just put gas in my Jeep.
I just transferred money to the spending account.
I stood there in line listening to the total of $88, & I was pleased because I budgeted for $90.

My card was declined.
Not once.
Two times it was declined.
In disbelief and annoyance, knowing damn well there’s money in there, I asked to move my cart over and suspend my account so that I could figure this out real quick.

& without hesitation, you, the woman behind me put her card in the chip reader faster than I could blink.

I said, “Ma’am, that is so unnecessary, I’m fine.”
You said, “Yeah, well you got your hands full.”

You looked at my two crazy kids who suddenly decided to act out like a couple of monkeys.

Again, “Ma’am, I got this. I can show you my bank app, I don’t need help.”
Again you replied, Oh, I know. I’m not worried about it.”

*Nervous/embarrassed laugh* “ma’am, no, I’m serious. You don’t understand, I got this. I was prepared. I just transferred money. I got this. Please, you do not have to do this, it’s unnecessary.” Annoyed with my resistance, you put up your hand to hush me up and said, “Just pay it forward.”

That’s it. Just like that, your motherly-like gesture shut me the hell up, and I was given my receipt of paid for goods. I pulled my cart over to wait for you. I took my sweet time categorizing the groceries that I needed to pack up while you were rung up your own items.

As I waited for you, I called my husband to see if he knew what was going on with my card. He was in school but managed to check. He said everything was fine. There was indeed money. You see, my husband’s been in school following a dream and it’s been a tough season in our crazy lives with two kids.
Plans have fallen through.
Mistakes were made.
Lessons are being learned.
It has been a very trying time for us in many ways.
As I’m looking over all of these groceries, there’s a lump in my throat wondering what I’m supposed to say to you. I’m prepared to drive to an ATM and give you cash.

You try to walk past me and I stop you to again reiterate how unnecessary your choice was and how I could pay you back as soon as I figure out what’s going on with my card. You smiled at me, and said, “Give me a hug.” I almost broke down right there in front of everyone as you held a mother carrying so much more than a couple of kids and some groceries.

I asked for your name.
Of course, you said “no” with a slick smile and told me to have a nice day.

Absolutely speechless at this point, I watched you walk out. Wondering why you’d do that after so many times of me rejecting your offer.

Maybe you could see pass my facade and saw something deeper. Maybe I was just in the right place at the right time.

Maybe. Maybe not.

As I’m loading my groceries, I stop because I get this idea that I’ll make a Facebook post, put up pictures for proof it’s me, and start my investigation to track you down. A part of me still wants to put your description in this post so that I could find you. Lord knows the town of Hastings is so small, I’m sure I could. However, I’ll respect your request and not pursue paying you back. So instead, it’ll just be another one of those post proving that there are still selfless people in the world. I just pray that you read this and know that I left a note for you at the store with the cashiers who witnessed your act of kindness. The guy who checked us out said, ”I’ve never seen anyone do that.” and It was his idea about leaving a note for you.

You impacted several lives yesterday. An action that you may consider so small was anything but.
I hope you know that. – Crystal Lake, The Aldi Nerd Community

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