A woman walked into a shop. The shopkeeper thought to herself "Yippee! A customer!" The woman, maybe in her 60s, or 50s (or 40s, but in terrible shape), went in farther, looked around and commented how nice it was, and as the two started talking, she said that the shopkeeper gave off a good vibe and she could tell that she had a kind heart. She then went on to say that she didn't normally panhandle, but that is what it had come down to. She talked of her financial woes, describing in detail a massive debt that she just finished paying off and about her ex-husband's financial woes and her husband being in a wheelchair and of her kids. This is a small part of that conversation.
"Could you spare a couple dollars so that we can have food for Christmas?"
"With having this business I am in a really tough spot, so sorry. But... are you from town?" "No."
"Do you have a place to stay?" "Yes".
Her nose was running. She wiped it on her hand. She then asked for a tissue, but the shopkeeper didn't have any handy, and told the woman that. After wiping her nose, the woman picked up a pretty fan and said "My husband loves these."
They talked a bit about some other things and then about food hampers, etc.
"Have you looked in at the soup kitchen? "Yes, but..." She went on to explain the woes of going to the soup kitchen, i.e. that she wasn't allowed to take food home for her husband. Yes... the shopkeeper said, he would have to go as well.
"Do you cook?" "Yes."
"As we are talking, I'm trying to think of a food item that I might be able to spare. How about some pasta? But you would need sauce for it."
"Oh I have sauce. What kind of pasta?"
"Oh my girls don't like that kind." (Say what?)
"How about Mac and Cheese?"
"The kind in a box?"
"Yes, the kind in a box."
Handing her the box.
"Do you have a bag?"
Yup. Handing her the bag. They walked to the door and the shopkeeper wished her well.
The shopkeeper is keenly aware that the woman and her husband are in better financial shape than the shopkeeper herself. But... it is Christmas after all.
ps: I was going to do up a care package of food for my brother this Christmas, but it looks like I won't be seeing him again this year, and I'm not sure exactly where he will be. So, it's all good. Life is grand. Yup... just grand.