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Honest Mistake

March 4, 2019

This is a little embarrassing and I wasn’t going to say anything to anyone, but two days of hindsight has kind of blunted the whole incident a little so it doesn’t seem so bad. Also, I suppose a blog offers a little bit of anonymity because it’s not like I’m actually looking at a person when I recount this. If you read this I hope you can recognize the courage it took for me to share this, and my prayer is that none of you think less of me for what happened because, in truth, I think it’s a mistake that anyone could make.

At least that’s what the police officer told me.

I’m at the grocery store on Saturday morning and because grocery shopping with all the people and commotion is an anxious situation for me, when I shop I go into kind of a zone and I snuggle into my head. In an ideal world I’d be in and out of the store in minutes but it doesn’t work that way so since I can’t move faster than I can move, and since I can’t move the other shoppers at all, I try and use my shopping trips as exercises in mindfulness and meditation. I find that helps me to not think about the other shoppers or the crowds and it helps keep my anxiety down.

So like I said, I’m in a zone and I’m in my head and I’m mindful and I’m shopping away. I know the layout of the store about as well as the folks that work there so I’m not wasting any time going back and forth from aisle to aisle. I’m up (or down, however you orient) the aisles I need and passing the ones I don’t need and I’m saving my energy for the pressures (of which there are many) of the produce department. I get out of Produce with a full basket  – and more importantly without incident – and that just leaves me needing to pass the dairy (and offer a silent acknowledgement to those poor eggs), grab some water and move on to the checkout.

There were two people in front of me at the checkout on Saturday and this is another great place to practice mindfulness so I’m focusing on my breathing and the feel of the plastic handle of the grocery cart in the palms of my hands and that’s what I’m doing as the people in front of me check out. By the time I’m at the register I’m pretty focused and while I’m looking at the cashier, I’m not really staring at her, but just focusing on her hands and her practiced movements. I’m holding my credit card in my right hand and watching her and I don’t hear her when she tells me the total and I just keep on staring and breathing. After a few seconds she says, “Excuse me, sir?” and I blink and focus and say, “I’m sorry?” and she says, “Strip down facing me.”

Like I told the police officer, I didn’t stop to think that she was talking about my credit card.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2019 12:12 pm

    Pretty good buildup there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March 4, 2019 12:15 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  3. March 4, 2019 12:45 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  4. March 7, 2019 3:09 pm

    Oh, that is hilarious, Michael. Totally did not expect that ending and had to read it twice before I ‘got it’. Excellent read. You made my day!


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