Reading the fine print is something I mention like a broken record when I write If Emily Posted. Yeah, well, whatever. I had a budget when I went to the market for turkeys to bring to the food bank for the turkey shortage. I knew what I could spend, and I also knew the sale on turkeys would mean that budget could go pretty far. $8 a turkey is kind of amazing when they were normally a little over twice that. Less amazing when you need to spend a minimum of $25 on other groceries to qualify and the limit is one turkey. I made a budget that would allow me to give now and in the next month – December for food banks and toy drives. So, I had to skip the turkey specials, buy them at regular price, and scale back plans a lot.
This is still bugging me. I’ll get over it. I just need to vent. The fact is even if I’d had hundreds of dollars to spend yesterday, I’d have wished I’d had more. It’s like I take the philosophies of Mother Teresa and Veruca Salt and put them in a blender.
Stupid fine print. I really hate you when people are starving.
But here’s the thing. Giving a couple turkeys instead of bunch is still feeding people who would have otherwise gone hungry. I got over my pity party pretty fast and stopped trying to figure out how to do what I had planned and just DO.
As I stood in line to pay, my head stuck on the fine print and my foolishness, I struck up a conversation with two women, sisters I believe. They were about my mother’s age. My mother with whom I was taking food to the pantry. My mother had a bunch of turkeys, I had my smaller bunch (Shut up, Veruca.). The women were buying everyday things. They heard us talking about the $8 turkey when you spend $25 situation and said, We’re spending over $25. Go grab an extra turkey. We want to help.
I ran back to the meat department and grabbed the largest bird I could find (it could be up to 16 pounds). I gave it to the strangers who then gave it to me. They wouldn’t let me pay for it. There was hugging and a few tears on Aisle 12 as I saw how awesome people are. That one turkey? That one turkey was magic and hope and beauty and kindness.
Holiday season, you’ve officially begun.
I am also just overwhelmed by the ways people helped yesterday. How they posted my blog post to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Thank you for getting the food bank info out there.
My friend Heidi who does not even live in this country was so generous to spread the word. Thank you Traci and Krishann and Erin and Lee and Dresden and Meghann, too. There are more of you I need to thank.
Krishann’s young daughter, her reaction was just beyond words beautiful. Her desire to give was so heartfelt and the part of me that hurt to think at such a young age she should worry that others are suffering was equally comforted by her joy in giving. Her absolute passion for doing for others, down to the handmade card for the food bank. Please read Krishann’s post here. These words from it are now on a post-it on my desk:
People are so good.