January 20, 2011
Last night, I went to T.J. Maxx and purchased an accent pillow decorated with a bird.
"Birds are 'in,'" I told my husband when he shriveled up his nose.
After a few hours, the bird started to remind me of Edgar Allen Poe's raven.
"I'm taking Cameron to the store and I'll be back in 30 minutes,"I called as I walked out the door.
The cashier who processed the return was a long-time employee of T.J. Maxx. Her name tag indicated that she had been working there since 2011.
"Hello little boy!" she said to my two year-old, who was sitting quietly in the shopping cart, with his finger up his nose. "You sure are a cute little guy."
This made me smile.
"You need to be careful," the woman continued without looking at me. "Your mommy needs to strap you in the cart or else you are going to fall out and get hurt."
This made me stop smiling.
I love when people talk to me through my children.
I pointed to the stubs of what once comprised the two ends of a shopping cart seat belt. "None of your carts have seat belts," I told the woman.
This was an irrelevant point.
"All children riding in shopping carts should be strapped in, shouldn't they?" she asked my son.
The woman handed me back my receipt with a smile.
It was at that moment that I began to regret my decision to return the bird pillow. The store was empty and the woman was the only cashier on duty.
It took a few minutes, but I bought and returned the same bird pillow again. By the end of the fourth transaction, I felt very confident that the woman felt the same way about me that I felt about her.