Today, I was at work, and as always, about 15 minutes before I had to go home, I had a customer, who didn't have enough money to pay for her groceries. She had purchased around $53.00 of food, and when she used her debit card, it came up as insufficient funds. She asked me to void out the steaks and so I did,and still, it said insufficient funds. I was getting a little annoyed, and I realized that I would be the one putting it all back. As she told me she was not going to buy the food and that it would all have to go back, a look of frustration came over my face. I was upset, but I knew it was all part of the job. I walked around the store with the shopping cart and took the food out of the bags and put it all back on the shelves in their proper places. This one lady walked by me and smiled, she said she did a lot of shopping, but she had never shopped like I was. I laughed, at least I took humor in the situation.

I was at the Bagel Shop, near where I work, waiting in line to get a bagel and coffee like a good, little corporate robot. There was an Okinawan woman in front of me that I had seen there before.

I don't know for sure if she was Okinawan but she had the look of all the mamma sans that I remember when I was stationed there.

She stuck her money out at arms length and tried to order her food but no one could understand her. When the clerk asked and pointed to various menu items, she answered yes to all of them. Each yes answer brought on a slew of options that were more questions the Okinawan didn't understand.

I watched this communication abortion take place as the line moved on without really ever being delayed. I wondered what she was going to recieve when she got to the cash register and was surprised to see the clerk ringing things up. The Okinawan handed over her money and was given a bottle of orange juice which she accepted happily and went on her way.

I couldn't tell you everything that she said but I'm pretty sure none of it was orange juice. But that didn't matter to her and for a moment, I was jealous of her simple delight. She didn't seem to know what she wanted but she was given something and that seemed like enough for her. I wished that I could be content with what I was given and I look forward to tomorrow, where I will watch mamma san receive another random menu item and she will walk away happy.

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