5pm, Saturday 2nd April 2011, Tesco Extra Coventry.
In walk two chunky men, wall to wall tattoos, sprayed on T Shirts (I know, I've got some of those too, however theirs were filled with bulging biceps, mine are just a deliberate size too small!!!) and very short hair.
Anyway, (and here's some of that prejudging that seems to be so inherent - they were either gay dancers or fascists!!), they looked mean and incapable of stringing two sentences of pleasantries together (especially if they had to address me!!), or they were going to be ridiculously camp and mince & quick-step their way round the store.
Either way, I wasn't going to step out of the way, even though their Lynx odour was overpowering, I found their banter amusing (which upon hearing, I decided they weren't about to mince & quick-step!!).
First TT (Tight T-Shirt), says 'F**k me, I 'aint buying Thorntons, them are a f***ing rip-off!!'
Second TT, replies 'I 'aint buying s**t this year, lets get the f**king beer'
Let me enlighten you, it was the Saturday evening before Mothers Day and the Beefy Brothers were clearly considering (or not in one case), buying gifts for their respective Mothers.
Anyway, first TT squealed (actually it was a shout, but it sounds funnier to say 'squeeled'),
'f**ing half-price, sorted, let's go'
It transpires first TT discovered some half-price chocolates for £3 and swiftly threw back the £10 Thorntons ones.
I was not going to be judgemental (other than the way they were dressed, tattooed, head-shaved, smelt and acted!!!), so what if they skimped on a few pounds and opted for cheapo chocolates, after all Mothers day is just another institutionalised commercial, money making scam - or is it??
Whatever your feelings about Mothers Day, most of the nation celebrate it in one way or another (and hopefully express some GRATITUDE - therefore institutionalised commercialism or not - it's PRICELESS!!)
I stopped myself again, what if the oiks just didn't have the cash, then surely the cheaper option was still a wonderful gesture, of course that was it, a gesture is a gesture, no matter what it costs. EXCEPT, I saw the Tight T-Shirts at check-out, they had so much alcohol in their trolley, that the cheapo chocolates were teetering on top (precariously balancing on a litre of Vodka).
They flung the chocolates onto the checkout almost like they were a threat to their precious Vodka, which incidentally, they gently handled like one would handle a new born baby.
Anyway (rightly or wrongly), it seemed to bother me, even more their clothes & aftershave did!!
But why did it bother me so much ?
Was it because I'd give my right arm to be in their position (I don't mean the tattoos & T-Shirts), I mean to still have a Mother, so I too could buy Mothers Day gifts.
NO, it seemed to be more than that.
My Tesco experience haunted my mind for days and days, provoking much thinking & deliberating.
Then the realisation....S**t!! who was I kidding?
My angst was deeper rooted, in fact my angst was borne of the disturbing fact I may have had the same attitude towards Mothers Day as the TT brothers.
That's it..............it was GUILT!!!!!
Guilt that I would have bought cheapo chocolates (and probably balanced them on a litre of Vodka!!), guilt that I would have also taken Mother for granted, guilt because now she's gone I can't do bugger-all about it and guilt because if I had the chance now, it would all be so different.
Why do we only see the true value of anything, when we no longer have it??
Think about it!!!
Within seconds (if you're honest), you will come up with a list of people or things in your life that you completely and utterly take for granted and rather worryingly (in some cases), that could be your own parents, partners, children, even best friends (let alone materialistic possessions such as jobs, homes & cars etc)
'Most human-beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted'
I don't have the answer, I (like so many), learnt the hard way, maybe we all do, maybe that's the circle of life, that we only learn once we lose, that we are only grateful once we can't grasp the very thing we had, that GRATITUDE is something that hits us ALL, when we have no other option, when it's just too late!!
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition
So, go and count those blessings, understand what you have and the value it holds.
I truly believe all beauty, all things and all the forthcoming attractions you desire, will evade you and your life, until you are truly accepting & grateful, for whatever you already have in your hands today.
Of course, I could be wrong BUT do you really want to wait till it's too late??
MK (in a T-Shirt that is clearly too small!!)