Rude Woman Insults Old Veteran at Store, He Makes Her Regret It – Story of the Day
An impatient, angry woman humiliates an elderly veteran in a supermarket and quickly regrets her rudeness.
Judith Kendall was having a bad day. She'd had an ugly argument with her husband in the morning, the latest in a string of many, she had a client cancel a contract on her at the last minute, and she was late to pick up her daughter from childcare.
She was close to the childcare center when she remembered that she'd run out of milk and eggs, and a few other essentials. Swearing under her breath, Judith turned her car around. A few minutes later, she turned into a supermarket parking lot, and her day became even worse.
Judith couldn't find a parking spot close to the doors, so she had to park further than she liked. The shopping cart she selected had wonky wheels and seemed to resist her so by the time she pushed her way into the shop she was fuming.
Older people have the same abilities, dreams, and sensibilities as the young, and wisdom to share.
She rolled her way down the dairy products aisle only to find her way blocked by a shopping cart being pushed by an elderly man who was standing looking up at the vegetable milk alternatives with a bewildered expression.
"Would you move your cart?" snapped Judith angrily, "I need to go past!"
"Sorry!" said the old man with a sweet smile, "I forgot!" He walked away pushing his shopping cart, and Judith quickly picked the milk she needed and trundled down the aisle to look for the eggs.
When she got there, she found the aisle blocked again by the old man and his cart. "EXCUSE ME!" Judith hollered, "Just get that cart out of the way!"
The old man looked over his shoulder surprised, and said: "Sorry! I'm a bit forgetful!"
Judith pushed past him and snarled: "You crazy old coot!" She quickly selected the eggs, then went to the in-store bakery for some bread. Thinking about dinner made her realize she'd forgotten to leave out the meat to defrost.
She pushed her cart to the store's deli counter, only to find the old man already there talking to the server. While Judith waited impatiently, the old man selected several items and discussed their relative merits with the store clerk.
By the time he was done and putting his orders into the cart, ten long minutes had gone by. Judith quickly gave her order and was done in two minutes and hurried to the front of the store and the checkout counter.
To her horror, the old man was already there, ahead of her, discussing the price of one of the items he'd selected with the girl behind the till. Then she saw the man reach into his pocket and pull out a thick roll of coupons.
He started to sort them, and the roll fell on the floor, scattering the coupons everywhere. The checkout girl got up to help the old man and that was when Judith exploded. "This is enough! I have a life and I can't stand here and let some decrepit old man waste my time!
"You need to get yourself into an old age home, old man, you're a wreck! You're probably senile too. Get out of the way and let me through!"
The checkout girl looked shocked, but the old man just shook his head. "Go ahead, please," he said calmly, "I'm not in a hurry." Judith pushed past him, shoved his shopping cart aside, and quickly piled up her items on the counter.
A few minutes later she was walking out triumphantly. "That'll show him!" she muttered under her breath. She placed her groceries in the trunk, slid into the driver's seat, and put her key in the ignition. Her car wouldn't start!
Judith screamed and slammed her fists onto the steering wheel. She just couldn't take any more! She was sobbing when someone knocked on her window. She raised her tear-stained face and saw the old man from the supermarket looking at her with a concerned expression on his face.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
Judith rolled down her window and answered, "My car won't start! It's just been one of those days. I'll call AAA..."
The old man smiled. "Young lady, why don't you pop the hood and we'll see what's going on?"
Judith hesitated, then pulled the lever to open the hood. The old man started fiddling with something and a few minutes later, he said, "Try it now!"
Judith turned the key in the ignition and to her astonishment, the engine purred into life. She gasped. "You did it! How did you do that? And so quickly!"
The man smiled. "I served in the US Army for 45 years as a motor mechanic, my dear. I fixed cars in some of the most terrible places in the world, sometimes under fire, so fixing a pretty lady's car on such a lovely day is sheer pleasure!"
Judith jumped out of the car and hugged the old man. "Thank you," she whispered, "And forgive me, I was so rude..."
The old man hugged her back. "It's alright my dear, I could see you were unhappy..."
"How...How do you know?" Judith asked.
"When people feel unhappy, angry, and helpless in their lives they tend to take it out on the world around them. Take charge of your life. You're strong, you can do it!" the elderly man said quietly.
Judith nodded and gave the man another hug. "Thank you, thank you for everything!" As she drove away, the man raised his hand in a silent blessing, and Judith felt oddly comforted. She drove to her daughter's daycare calmly and welcomed her child with a smile and a hug.
Yes, everything was going to be alright. She was strong, and she could do it!
What can we learn from this story?
1. Treat people with dignity and respect no matter how you feel.
2. Older people have the same abilities, dreams, and sensibilities as the young, and wisdom to share.
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