Lois can do many things. But occasionally she needs help. Unfortunately, if it involves fixing anything, she’s married to an extremely limited man. So when I get an opportunity to squish a bug, lift something heavy, or pick up something from the store, I jump at the chance.
A Thanksgiving tradition has become “Get the one ingredient still needed at Kroger.” This year it was “Crispy Fried Onions.” I’ve never even said crispy fried onions before, let alone shopped for them.
So off I go, in the rain, actually excited about the challenge. It’s good for my brain. Mission: Crispy Fried Onions. She sent me off with one helpful tip. “You’ll find them near the canned vegetables.” Good info.
I worked my way through the crowd with an air of confidence, telling total strangers, “I’m here for the Crispy Fried Onions. No problem.”
Up and down the canned vegetables aisle. No CFO. I notice other dazed husbands wandering aimlessly, phones in their hands, mouths agape, gently moaning… “Hey didn’t I see you here last year?”
It’s a community.
But it’s not going well. There are SO many other products in aisle 9. The proverbial needle in a haystack. Much like choosing from the McDonald’s drive thru menu. But there’s no #1.
I try aisle 8, featuring another menagerie of unrelated tasty items and ingredients. I ask an employee. Let’s call her Lydia. (Because that’s her name) “Can you direct me to the Crispy Fried Onions?” She furrows her brow, looks at her phone, and offers, “Aisle 9. Next to the canned vegetables.”
Of course. (Does she know Lois?)
Now with double confirmation, I’m determined. Half way down aisle 9 I hear a crash. I look back and a giant Starbucks display has toppled across the aisle. I quoted Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom. “I was no where near aisle 9!” Sadly, that was not the case. I was smack dab in the middle of it.
I was sure it wasn’t me. I was ten feet away. Still, I thought, why not? So I knelt down and started fixing the fallen display. And I thought, I wonder if anybody’s going to ask…?
“Excuse me, do you work here?”
“You’d think so wouldn’t you?”
Let’s just say I’m a satisfied customer.
Good deed done, I trudged up aisle 9 one more time, moments from discouragement. I confessed, this is getting painful.
Suddenly, I heard angels. A glow coming from the bottom shelf. Averting my eyes from the bright light, I couldn’t be sure, but thought I saw the letters “C…R…I…S…P…Y…F…R…I…”
YES! Crispy Fried Onions!?!?! Oh my gosh! It’s true! They exist! Thanks, God!
I couldn’t wait to tell Lois! I couldn’t wait to tell Lydia! I couldn’t wait to tell the guy who thought I worked there.
Funny, nobody cared as much as me.
Exhilarated, I floated to checkout. The cashier: “Find everything you need?”
“Just my Thanksgiving Day Miracle!”
“Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thes. 5