Thursday, September 10, 2009

Soup to Nuts to Generosity

I went to the Cancer Pavilion today to clear the first hurdles for the clinical trial. First an EKG -- less than 15 seconds' worth! -- somehow confirmed that I was within their parameters, heart murmurs notwithstanding. Then a blood draw, and then a skeletal exam, a long series of x-rays. I should know in a day or two whether, as Heidi Klum would say, I'm in or I'm out.

On the way home, I made a rare stop at Aldi Foods. It's one of those bring-your-own-bags, pay-for-the-shopping-cart super cheap groceries. Except that most of the groceries aren't super cheap; you've got to do your homework. But they do have good prices on produce (look carefully) and nuts and a few other things. It's not really close, and it's in a dicey area so I don't shop there often.

It happened that I was dressed like a grown up; I don't go to medical appointments in shorts and t-shirts, although many people do. I was three steps up the ladder, in clean dress slacks and a pressed shirt. That also made me a bit of a standout at Aldi. I usually see both extremes there: On The Way To Church, complete with jewels and hats, and at the other end, Just Rolled Out Of Bed (Wearing This). I figured I was close to the middle. The woman in line ahead of me was much better dressed: casual but elegant designer wear, coordinated but decidedly hip accessories. She had a big ol' cartful of food, buying several items by the case. People often shop there for church dinners, group homes, etc. I watched her unload two cases of canned soups, two cases of cereal, a case of sugar, a case of vegetable oil, a case of canned tuna, etc.

I said, "Gosh, you must be cooking for a big crowd." "Not really," she replied, and turned away. Contrary to popular opinion, I am capable of keeping my yap shut on occasion, so I just let it go. As she put the last item on the belt, she turned away from me and said quietly, "It's for a food drive." I respected her privacy, her modesty, whatever the heck it was, but inside I was doing backflips and cartwheels. Her bill came to over $90. (That's three weeks of groceries for me.) Like most people, I would just scrounge a can or two from the pantry -- some weird vegetable, something I bought accidentally -- but this gal was shopping for a food drive. It made me happy all day.

Maybe we shouldn't eat all the rich.


Kathy from NJ said...

I am NOT rich, I'm probably lower middle class (or lower). Once a year the postal carriers collect food and there is always a large bin in the lobby of the post office for the food bank. I put unwanted items in the bin at the post office - bought lots of gatorade for my husband during an awful intestinal bout and had several bottles left over - but I do shop for food when they have the big drive. I buy tuna & other items that they request but also put in a couple of cake mixes and fun things. It really makes me feel good.

La Cootina said...

I donate to the postal carriers' drive, too, but that's when I purge my unwanted items. Hooray for you, Kathy, and the lady at Aldi's, for making the effort and providing the items they really need. Especially in this economy -- the food banks are probably trying to supply twice as many households.