I was alone in the grocery store for the first time in ages tonight. 

Just as I reached for the fridge door to grab a carton of OJ, this burley tattooed biker guy with bandana I’d seen hovering earlier approached. His buggy was starting to fill up. Mine too. 


ME: 😒::::trying quietly to decide which OJ to get::::

BIKER: “I noticed you’re married?”

ME: “Yep…. Four tiny children too.” (((I usually say eight if someone seems creepy. This guy was chill tho…his energy output was a solid mixture of sadness, kindness, and harmlessness.)))

BIKER: :::polite, bashful tone:::: “I thought so. I had figured you’re shopping for your family.” 

ME: “Well…. ….actually this is for my mama. She has the flu and asked me to get her list of things. My husband has the kids at home. He’s cooking dinner.”

BIKER: ::::head hangs over shopping cart, elbows on the push bar, exhausted:::: “I was just watching you thinking how nice it would be to have a wife to help with the grocery shopping. Or just…help. With anything. I try hard. I have some little ones too. But it’s tough sometimes. Being alone is tough.”

:::::insert a few more pretty real, raw pertinent human comments before we parted::::::

……y’all. This convo has stuck with me for hours. The sadness that poured from his energy. The realness conveyed. I wasn’t expecting something like that in the grocery store. It really made me appreciate all the support Kevin gives me in so many little ways too. 

So many people out there are secretly alone and aching right in the middle of all the crowds. 

Anyway. All this to say….stay kind. Show compassion to others. 

Listen to their words. 

Really listen. 

Even if they’re just a stranger passing by the dairy aisle.

Published by Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.

%d bloggers like this: