My eleven cents worth.

I went out to buy a garbage can today.

Why? Well, first of all because I have no life, and secondly because I wanted to get a new one for my main floor powder room.

I found a bright shiny silver garbage can at a local bath store and as I was standing in line to pay for it I noticed the lady ahead of me was trying to keep an antsy toddler in the stroller and juggle a crying baby while she paid.

I stood very patiently in line behind her and then I over heard the cashier ask this woman if she had eleven cents so that she could be given her change back in bills instead of as a handful of coins.

This Mommy, who I assumed just wanted to get the heck out of there as now both her kids were screaming, told the cashier that she didn’t and that the handful of change was fine.

The cashier didn’t have enough coins in her drawer however and told the Mommy that she would have to wait until she got a new till.

The two little kids were now yelling at ear piercing decibels.

So, I reached over and offered the lady eleven cents. I had a pocketful of change, I was happy to help a fellow Mom.

Did the Mom with the screaming kids thank me? Nope. She turned, snarled and yelled at me that she didn’t need any hand outs.

The cashier on the other hand, grabbed my eleven cents and shoved the woman’s bills back at her. The Mommy growled something at us both, dumped her purchase (towels) on the head of her screaming toddler and marched out of the store.

The cashier shook her head, thanked me and then gave me a discount on my shiny garbage can that saved me about eight dollars.

I’m sitting here tonight thinking about that poor Mom though. I wonder what she’s been through that would make her react that way. Both she and the kids were well dressed and the stroller was an expensive one. It wasn’t like I thought she NEEDED the money, I was just trying to save her a little time and trouble. It was after all ONLY eleven cents.

Do you think that she’s forgotten that it’s okay to take a little help from a stranger now and then?

Or do you think she might have been upset because she needed the change for some reason?

Or do you think those kids have just sent her ‘right round the bend’?

I’m wondering.

21 thoughts on “My eleven cents worth.

  1. I’m going with the kids sent her over the edge. Or around the bend. Or just plain off the cliff.
    I would have totally thanked you, and maybe paid you back with a child or two.


  2. I’m betting on the the kids over the bend one -tee hee. But, I am sorry felt she needed to act that way – shesh! I’d have been so appreciative – I wonder what was up with her – proud, I guess. You did the right thing! Take care and I’ll see you soon. Kellan


  3. I guess she was just having a bad day. Maybe she was having money troubles because she bought expensive strollers and nice clothes. And that hit her the wrong way, or maybe her kids were just brats.
    Either way, you were very nice and she should have just said, “Thank you.” At least it sounded like the cashier was nice.


  4. Another possibility: people who are introverted and have, shall we say, control issues REALLY don’t like being the centre of attention demonstrating their unmistakable lack of control over things. It can (ahem, theoretically speaking, of course) be quite stressful and the extra attention – as kind as it was – perhaps was just too much to bear.


  5. Sounds like that mother was ‘out of her mind’ and left her manners back in the towel department. She certainly didn’t model good behavior for her children. Then again…with their crying and screaming and squirming…she probably didn’t have any thought left in her mind other than “I wish this noise would stop”.


  6. Leanne,
    I would guess that she was extremely stressed and frustrated. She’s probably sorry for her reaction now that she’s calmed down.
    I have helped out at the cash register before and others have also helped me out. I have always been thanked for my kindness. Thank you for helping out this lady. A random act of kindness probably meant a lot to her after she thought about it.
    Thanks for entering my giveaway. Please drop by my blog again when you have time.


  7. I’m guessing the kids, too. I know I kind of lost it this afternoon when I came barreling into the house at 12:30 (nap time is at 1), with two hungry kids and a very empty stomach of my own.
    And then, then I opened Lucy’s snow suit and discovered that she’d pooped through her outfit. *sigh* If someone, other than my kids, had been there, I am sure I would have snarled at them, too.
    But, I am sorry that you were on the receiving end of her frustration or whatever.


  8. Allow me to just pat myself on the back for a moment . . . no matter how insane I might be at a particular moment due to Toddler wrangling, no matter how tired I am, no matter how much of a hurry I’m in, no matter what, I always say thank you when a stranger demonstrates kindness, whether it be by holding a door, stopping a runaway Toddler, or offering me eleven cents. On behalf of the rude beyotch, thank you, Leanne. That was very kind of you to help a struggling Mom out.


  9. We are all stressed out at different levels, it is no excuse for a total lack of common courtesy. You did the right thing and I hope you will take some comfort in that. I’ll say it for her, “thank you for being so kind.”


  10. I’m also going with the ‘sent over the bend’ vote. Though, it doesn’t justify her rudeness by any means.
    She should have thanked you, or at least smiled, a little. Snarled? No way. Sorry Leanne. Hopefully, she thought about it later on with a little regret.


  11. We have all probably been there at some time. I feel bad for her for having to go through that and proud of you that you have paid it forward. You have likely instilled the thought of paying it forward to that mom, whether she realizes it right now or not. I’d like to think that when I help out a mom in need now, she will in turn help out another mom in need, when she herself is without kids. It takes a village 🙂


  12. Yep, I vote sent over the bend as well. I, clearly, would have taken you home with me.
    BTW, I haven’t a life either and recently bought a garbage can too. 🙂
    *le sigh*.


  13. I would go with the fact that she was having a really bad day and she now regrets how she acted. I know I have wished I could go back and change a reaction I have had while having a bad day. Give her the benifit of the doubt and know that you did a really good thing. If nothing else you go t a great dicount on a gabage can. =)


  14. Whew!! I guess we all have days when it might only take 11 cents to set us off!! Well…at least you were able to get a discount and nobody can say that you weren’t doing the right thing!!


  15. You should feel good about yourself for trying to help her out! It sounds like she was having “one of those days”. We’ve all been there…although I probably would have taken the 11 cents and kissed you for it!


  16. You should feel good about yourself for trying to help her out! It sounds like she was having “one of those days”. We’ve all been there…although I probably would have taken the 11 cents and kissed you for it!


  17. A long time ago when my 16 yo was little, I was a single mother with no money at all. I was doing at home child care, people would forget to pay me, I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent, the lights would be turned off etc. I was looking at a video of her 4 year old birthday party and couldn’t help but notice the difference between her and her sister, who is just now four. When I was poor I dressed my daughter in very nice clothes, myself too, her hair was perfect, her stroller just right. I was so worried about what people thought of me, that they didn’t know. Now, who cares, others opinions have no impact on me because I am no longer vulnerable.
    Don’t know why that woman was so rude, you never can know what people’s lives are like. Just reminded me of me, way back when…


  18. Kudos to you for giving her the benefit of the doubt and trying to help your fellow (wo)man. I’m sorry she had a bad day and took it out on you and the casier.


  19. I’d say she was probably at her wit’s end with that toddler and was not thinking clearly.
    11 cents could hardly be interpreted as a handout by a rational mind.
    Kudos to you for trying to make a fellow mama’s life easier. Sorry it wasn’t received well.


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