A missed opportunity.

The first half of my day today went pretty smoothly. Aside from some needless running around and being locked out of a classroom while my spicy hot wings were anxiously awaiting my arrival, no complaints.

The latter half of my day, well, let’s just say it will be a Vodka Calling kind of night. I only have an hour in between the time I pick up Gracie up from school and Sofia’s school lets out. Usually, I have plenty of time to spare. Not today.

I pick Gracie up from school. “Mom, it is Spirit week, tomorrow is “Sports Day.” Can I wear something Seahawks?

Yeah, sure, no problem. I mean no one in our household is a Seahawks fan, but yes, we can make this happen. At this point, I am just happy she wants to wear something other than her school uniform.  Not to mention not even I would make my daughter wear anything NY GIANTS (which I have plenty of) at this point in the season.

The plan was I would do a “quick” deposit at the bank, then we would rush over to Fred Meyer where I could pick her up some sort of Seahawks attire. Everything would have gone as planned had I not had to wait in the bank’s drive-thru line for thirty minutes! I know what you are thinking. “I would have just left.” “I would have just went inside.” Well, when there is a car in front of me and a car behind me, my fate is pretty much sealed.

Finally, I get up to the window, I have everything ready. “I need to make a deposit, here is everything you need.”

“Mam’ can you just make sure you include your ID.”

My ID was included. I had the deposit slip, cash, checks, and my freaking ID on top.

“Yeah, I have it in there.”

I am not quite sure why I had to sit an additional ten minutes at the drive-thru window, but I did. As soon as the bank teller pushes my receipt through the tiny pull out drawer, I am out of there! I now have 15 minutes before Sofia gets out of school. And, if I am not there waiting for her, she will have a panic attack and tell any “safe adult” “MY MOM FORGOT TO PICK ME UP!”

Safeway is in the same shopping center as the bank. I knew I had to come up with a plan B for “Operation Seahwaks Attire” or else it would be Gracie having a panic attack. “Let’s just go to Safeway real quick to see what they have!”

Important to note, this is Seahawk territory, even the grocery stores have Seahawks gear.

We find the Seahawks section, and Gracie decided on a thirty dollar scarf. Of course she did. Quickly, we find our place in line with 10 minutes to spare before Sofia would be out.

There was some sort of disagreement going on between the cashier and the customer in front of me.

“I thought if I brought up the barcode, then I would be able to get it for this price?”
“No, you can only get it for this price if you buy multiples.”
“But I just need one.”
“I am sorry, do you want me to delete your transaction?”

I literally have my phone out getting ready to text her teacher “I am a horrible mother, please keep Sofia in the office, I will be there shortly!” Checking the time, watching the minutes tick by.

“I cannot afford it without the sale price.”

The customer leaves.

All the cashier has to do is ring up the thirty dollar scarf. However, she must wait for a manager to come over to delete the previous customer’s transaction. I am texting the teacher, and then I notice it. I notice the item the customer before me could not afford.

A box of tampons.

I hand the cashier my debit card, while realizing I never got my ID back from the bank. Quickly, I call the bank, while asking the cashier “Is that the item she was trying to buy?”

On the phone: “Yeah, I just sat in your drive thru for 45 minutes, you have my ID. I am at Safeway, will drive back through and pick up my ID.”

“I am sorry, what is your name again?”


The cashier discreetly confirms that yes, the previous customer was trying to buy a box of tampons. I rush Gracie out of the store because now I have to pick up my ID while Gracie is trying to rip off the tags of her new thirty dollar scarf.

Outside of Safeway, I see her. I see the customer. I am still on the phone with the bank spelling out my name J-E-N-N…..

I motion to Gracie “Hurry up, we need to get your sister.”

And I see the customer leaning into the passenger window of some guys car.

“I am just trying to get a little bit of cash, nothing too fancy.”

“What are you offering?”

“I can’t do any less than 15.”

“Nah, I am good.”

I have my keys, rushing to open my car door, still on the phone with the bank “I WILL BE THERE IN FIVE SECONDS, HAVE IT READY!”

Watching the scene in front of me, reminiscent of the first time Julia Roberts approached Richard Gere’s car in the cult classic “Pretty Woman.” Except, this scene would not have a happily ever after.

Somehow, I made it Sofia’s school just in time to be approached by a parent who is missing their fundraising order.

I sat down at the tiny table in the foyer of Sofia’s school. Head buried in my hands, I was slowly starting to process the last hour or so.

I was too busy to see what was right in front of me. A potential problem I may have been able to at least put a band-aid on. I walked right past this woman too worried about my ID, and Sofia….when in the end, both Sofia and my ID would be okay.

This is what I should have done.

I should have bought the box of tampons, hoping that I would be able to catch up to the customer….and once I saw her at the car, trying to get a lousy fifteen bucks, I would discreetly call her over. I would have handed her the bag and walked away with Gracie, hopefully teaching Gracie that sometimes, we need to stop. We need to stop and look for those that may need just a little extra help.

I did not do that.

Next time, because there is always a next time. Next time I will pass the test.






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