I was at the grocery store Thursday afternoon with Max. We went through the checkout and headed our cart towards the door. Usually that’s a 10, maybe 15 second walk. This time it was moving much more slowly. Ahead of me was an older couple – he looked like he was in his late 70s, at least, and she wasn’t more than a year or two younger. They both had hold of the cart and were using it and each other for support, slowly pushing it towards the door.
The passageway was a little narrow. I could have probably maneuvered past them, but I didn’t want to disturb or alarm them, and I didn’t want them to feel like they were in the way.
A pair of women in their 20s came up behind me, no cart, and started swinging around to pass me. I pointed ahead and they both slowed and smiled. “That’s so cute,” one of them said.
We all waited for the couple in front to clear the narrowest spot, then the two women went on ahead and out. I waited behind the older pair. They moved slowly, resolutely, towards the door, apparently talking quietly to each other, swaying slightly as they walked so that their shoulders bumped on every other step. It even took them a few seconds to negotiate the double door, but then they were out and headed towards their car. I lost track of them as we headed towards our own car.
Instead of taking ten seconds or so to get out of the store, it had taken a minute and a half, maybe two minutes, an insignificant portion of my day. And I got so much more for my time. They weren’t in any hurry. They didn’t need to be. They were with each other. What else did they need?