There’s No Crying In Stop & Shop

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Ok, so maybe I am like Blanche DuBois and I depend on “the kindness of strangers.” Or I am just getting to be a big old softy in my 6th decade as my testosterone level decreases. Still, what happened to me today in my local Allwood, Clifton Stop & Shop once again reminded me of the potential goodness of people and if there is anything I hate, it i to think positively about my fellow humans!


The bag ban in NJ supermarkets has left me as much questioning its effectiveness as often forgetting to store one in my car (there are reports coming out all the time on how we might be spending more money than ever before and that, like those reports we all keep ignoring about recycling, that the bag ban is having the opposite hoped-for effect on the ecology). Still, I figured I’d be fine. I only needed a few items and the big gift bag I had stuffed down my back seat since Christmas would do the trick.

As you can guess, the bag gave up halfway across the store parking lot.

But after making a joke aloud, I proceeded to pick up my items, storing what I could in my pockets.

To my surprise, two guys jumped to help me.

The first was a gentleman I had just met when I failed to surrender that plastic aisle conveyor separator to him, which we both had a good laugh over.

The other came running from his car, obviously just having loaded his groceries, handing me one of the big S&S store bags he had to have paid at least fifty centers for.

As I walked to my car, the second guy’s bag full, I thanked my good grocery Samaritans and tears came to my eyes.

In these instances, happening all too few and far between these days with most of us locked nose-deep in our cell phone’s face, I’m reminded of a line Jeff Bridges says as the “Starman” character in the film of the same name. Relating what he finds beautiful about humans, he says: “You are at your very best when things are worse.”

And sometimes, even in a Stop & Shop parking lot, we are.

To cut under this ‘up with people’ crap moment, let me leave with a joke:

Did you hear that Stop & Shop and A &P are supposed to merge?

Yes, the new store is going to be called “Stop And P.”

See you in the funny papers, kids.

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