Call me a hopeless romantic, but a man knows sometimes when it is time to stop looking, to settle down. I have to say that I think I at long last found what I’d been looking for all these years. I had it for a moment, and then it slipped through my fingers. Heartbreak doesn’t quite describe how I felt. It was tempered with the realization that some men search their whole lives for what I had those precious and satisfying moments. Many never experience what I felt this afternoon, and that makes me terribly sad.
So, all I can be, at this moment, and given the blessing of this afternoon’s experience, is to be hope. I am their hope, and I remain hope that perhaps one day…perhaps one day.
So then I suppose this is a confession of sorts. The wife and I have discussed this before. We have that kind of relationship. We share these things, because life is short, and it is necessary to share these things. That may seem strange to some, but we’ve always prided ourselves on that sort of relationship.
And so I suppose a bit of background is in order. It is important to set the stage. What happened today was that powerful, I want to recreate every moment in hopes someone out there will not squander the opportunity if it comes your way. Carpe Diem, right? Seize the day!
I mean, it was one of those chance occurrences. I never meant for any of it to happen, It did, and so there it is. I’ll make no apologies. Providence, as selfish as that sounds, was clearly smiling down upon me. It was so out of the blue. From the moment we enter the store it was right in front of me. How could I have not noticed sooner?
The wife was in the frozen food isle. Now, I like to move through the market strategically, minimizing the backtracking, or avoiding it completely if at all possible. But I realized I needed bread, and so I headed to the bakery section back near where we’d entered. Truth be told, I almost didn’t go. I nearly resigned myself to going without, but it was as if something was pulling be back there. I was half way across the store, having all but abandoned the wife as she ruminated over frozen edamame and broccoli florets.
Just as I rounded the corner near the Kosher meat section, it was as if the heavens opened up. You could have struck me with lightening. After a lifetime of searching, I’d found her, a shopping cart with 4 fully functioning wheels!
Missing was the familiar stick of a front wheel, or one that turned sideways suddenly, or spun wildly independent of the others. There was no rubbing, no wheel that refused to turn, rattled embarrassingly or skidded worse than Frankenstein on an icy sidewalk. This, THIS was the holy grail of shopping carts! I’d found the one shopping cart that rolled, turned and swung just as theorized, but never fully realized. She was beautiful, and I pondered rescuing her from all of this, from snowy, cramped and cold lots, being banged and shoved into a cart rack, or being unduly violated at being pushed amid a dozen otherdeadbeat carts.
I didn’t of course, and I can never know if I will find her again. But I had her once, again something more than most will ever know. But keep up the hope. As sure as I am writing this, for love and life you must believe that there is at least one more out there somewhere. I pray that you find her, and when you do, fill her up and the coupons be damned. Choose the longest line with the slowest checker and people who look like they have coupons and a checkbook. Let the guy with just a couple items cut in line.
Invariably he’ll turned and say, “Thank you.”
Smile warmly, look him square in the eye, gently stroke the plastic handle on the cart and say, “No, thank you.”
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