Black Friday shopping on crutches.
It will change your perspective about humanity. It was over a decade ago, but it left an impression.
After a freak accident in early November, I was sporting a leg boot, trying to heal a broken foot.
Thanksgiving plans were already in motion, I had invited about 15 members of my family to our home. The offer stood firm. I would make the turkey, stuffing, gravy. The invited guests would provide all the rest of the meal.
It all worked out really well, the amount of pre-holiday frenzy would be limited by my new handicap. Loved ones were supportive, sympathetic and grateful that I did not cancel the event.
I was on temporary leave from my job, so I would be free for Black Friday weekend shopping, something that didn’t happen very often.
After a few weeks, I’d mastered the crutches, the first in my lifetime. I had sustained injuries before; sprains, muscle pulls, knee dislocation, etc., but this was my first fracture.
There was no real pressure to purchase Christmas gifts at the time, but I was curious about the challenge.
So, out I went, at about 5 am, to the mall.
We had all seen the pictures of the ugly American shopper, stampeding at the door to save a few dollars. My experience was different this time.
At first, there was surprise that I would even make the attempt. After that, doors were held open, boxes were acquired from high places, offers were made to pass me up in line. There were smiles, shaking of heads, questions.
But mostly, kindness.
I never forgot. I keep those crutches in the back of my closet.
Just as a reminder.