Being Helpful Really Does Help

Recently I was sent on an errand to grab two things at Costco: milk and tortillas. I decided that I would let my wife have some time to herself, since she had been with our screaming son all day and so I took him with me. I mean how hard could it be to grab two simple things right?

I was so excited for our simple little adventure and so was my son. We walked into the entry way of Costco, looked at the shopping carts and thought, I’m not going to need that. I’m only grabbing two things and he will want me to carry him anyways. So in we walked.

Milk was our first priority because it’s in the very back and we’ll grab the tortillas on the way to the registers. I always have a plan of attack whenever I go shopping. I don’t want to be in there long if I have a list of things to get because then I start thinking about more things I “need” and it’s never good. I grabbed the box of two gallons of milk and continued carrying my son.

Clearly my all cardio workouts aren’t the best idea because this was getting a little heavy, quick! Starting to walk over to the refrigerated area I didn’t know how much longer the box was going to hold up. Of course I didn’t know exactly where the bag of tortillas was and had to walk down all three isles. Normally that would be fine, but Nixon was wanting me to carry him in my other arm, the milk was getting heavier and the coat I was wearing wasn’t necessary anymore because I was sweating bullets.

There they were! The bag of tortillas that I needed for a work breakfast burrito party I was having the next day. As I tried setting the milk down the side handle tore and it dropped on the ground. Fortunately it didn’t pop open and spill everywhere, but I was embarrassed. Why couldn’t I do this?

I looked across the large isle at a mother and she said, “Do you need help?” I know she knew exactly what I was going through. She had been there before and learned real quick that the next time she went to Costco, no matter if you are buying one thing or 40 things, you get a cart. “No I think I got it,” I responded. I left the milk on the floor as I opened the refrigerator, grabbed the huge bag of tortillas and then stood there trying to decide how I was going to carry everything.

My thought process went as follows: Nixon is 21 lbs, I should carry him in my right arm because I am right handed and that is my dominate, stronger arm. Then I can carry the milk with the other side handle in my left hand. Now the tortillas, where should I put the tortillas? I know, I will put them between me and Nixon and hold him close to me squeezing the tortillas between the two of us making them stay put and not fall like the l milk did.

The plan was perfect and working perfectly, until we hit the check out lines. I know that I shouldn’t ever go to Costco right when they are about to close because they go down to about three cashiers and everyone is trying to get those last minute must have items. I didn’t think I was going to make it.

Suddenly, two college guys pushed their cart up behind me in line and asked, “Would you like to put your stuff in our cart while we’re waiting?” Now, being a guy, stubborn and wanting to show everyone there that I could handle this I politely said, “YES PLEASE!!!” With their cart full of red solo cups, seven 24 packs and every type of chip they sell there they made room for my simple milk and tortillas. One of them said, “I get it. You’re only getting two things, but it can get a little overwhelming.”

What in the world? Since when do college kids, let alone partiers offer to help? I judged them so quick, but yet they were both so selfless and willing to help me out. Maybe it’s because they are guys and they understand how we don’t want help for anything, even if it means dropping milk and not being able to carry all the groceries into the house at one time. How many times do you look at your husbands bringing in the groceries, every single bag in arms, draping them from every appendage just because they don’t want to have to go back out? I am that guy!

This experience helped me realize that there are people out there willing to help. They see if you are struggling and even offer to help you in the simplest of ways. Whether that’s opening a refrigerator door to get tortillas, make space in their cart to hold your few things so you can hold your child, or even just simple asking if they can help with anything. It pays to be nice and I am grateful for their examples. I want to be more like them and when I see another parent in need I will do anything I can to help them out. It really could be so simple, but it means the world.