In my house I am privileged to be the grocery shopper. I have apparently behaved myself, and have been rewarded with this exciting social activity.
Grocery shopping is a very interesting thing. You can see people at their best, and at their worst. You can see if they are thrifty, or extravagant in their tastes. Some people are in a terrible hurry, and some of us consider shopping a leisure activity. Some people are friendly, and some are not.
If you seek diversity in people, a grocery store is one place guaranteed to produce the desired result.
Yesterday, at the grocery store I kept passing the same woman while I shopped. She seemed to be taking the opposite route route through the store. She was going up and down the aisles, and I was going down and up. This meant that we met each other at least half-a-dozen times.
Now, here in the South, we are courteous, polite, and sometimes a bit flirty. We always acknowledge the presence of another person, especially one of the opposite sex. It is not that grocery shopping is a sexual pursuit, but some swear on the abundance of opportunities on the produce aisle, or in the ice cream section. You can probably meet a common sense person on the oatmeal aisle.
I know one guy who met his future wife at a Walmart prescription counter. This may not have been a good place for amorous encounters. She had more diseases than a hospital, and no health insurance.
But, I digress…
At any rate, I kept meeting the same woman on the grocery aisles, and at first, we just smiled in acknowledgement of each other. The rest of the time nobody made a big deal of the meetings. When we seemed to be heading for the same grocery line it seemed appropriate to say something.
“It looks like you are preparing for a crowd at Thanksgiving”, I said. She replied that she would be preparing dinner for about sixteen people. The conversation was short, polite, and was not inappropriate. She was just another harried shopper trying to get ready for the big family event. I am sorry to disappoint if you were expecting something lascivious.
Our original Thanksgiving pioneers did not have grocery stores, and they probably had very few smiles. You see, pioneering can be a really hard, and hungry job. If you land on a strange shore and cannot find fertile land, plentiful game, and adequate water supplies in quick order, you are screwed. You stand a good chance of starving, as many colonizing pioneers did.
Remember the stories of the settlers at Jamestown and Roanoke, Virginia. Starvation, disease, troubles with the native Indian tribes were big problems. They had to put up with each other, too.
The Roanoke colony did not survive, and Jamestown was touch and go for several years. The Massachusetts Bay colony was fortunate in its survival, too.
Colonial success was not guaranteed.
We have our intractable problems, today, but they do not go to our very basic physical existence. Our problems are political, economic, spiritual, and personal. They are important, but one reason for Thanksgiving is to keep all this stuff in perspective.
Happy Thanksgiving, people. My advice is to spend the day enjoying life, and to devote some time for prayer.