A funny thing happened to me at the grocery store a few weeks ago.
As I entered the check-out line, minding my own business and unloading my groceries onto the counter, the conveyer belt automatically delivered my groceries to the clerk for scanning. No big deal, right? People do this every day. Although on that particular day, I had no idea what I would find, other than my groceries, when I got home.
After arriving back home, I popped the trunk and Jan came out the door to meet me. He started grabbing bags of groceries while I went in to check on Lance and see what he had been up to while I was gone. Like a well-oiled machine, Jan carried the groceries in while I began to unload them. Since I have a pretty slim attention span, before I was finished putting everything away, I was already back in the living room playing with Lance again. Not surprisingly, and because he is a good husband, Jan picked up where I left off and started putting things away.
When I came back into the kitchen, he had unloaded a big coffee can with a purple and white label taped around it.
“What is that,” I said? I knew I didn’t buy anything like that. He picked it up and soon we heard the sound of coins clinking inside.
“I don’t know,” he said while handing it to me, “but it is heavy.”
Taking a closer glance I could read the label: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Oh geez, I thought. The clerk must have inadvertently put the charity can in with my groceries. We both started laughing when we realized what had happened.
Although we both knew we would have to take it back to the store, I know we (or at least I) were secretly thinking — “let’s put it in Lance’s piggy bank!” The sad part about that is I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would do just that or put it to worse uses.
Later that day I went back to the same grocery store I had been earlier in the day and returned the coffee can full of change. After all, this was the obvious decision, and in my world, the “right” decision.
“Bless you!” said the clerk.
She was truly amazed that I actually brought it back. What kind of a world are we living in, I thought to myself. Or better yet, what kind of a city am I living in that this woman was utterly shocked that I returned the money. So shocked that she yelled to two other clerks and told them the story. “Bless you, bless you,” they both said in thick southern accents that always make me smile. Apparently, my decision is not so obvious to everyone.
My only regret that day is that I did not drop a few quarters into the can before I returned it, but I know I will have another chance to donate. AND, make sure they do not bag it with my groceries again.