Average Jane

53 Cents and Worth Every Penny

What the hell is taking so long? I can’t believe I picked this line. Did that lady cut me off? Oh, shit. It’s that crazy woman from the dressing room. She’s holding everything up. I knew she was weird. I wonder if she stole anything. What did she just say…

I snap out of my 8:00OnAFridayEmergencyShoppingTrip Daze. Something’s going on.

“I don’t have it.” I see her digging around in a cheap plastic change puse. “Can I come back tomorrow?”

She has bags of clothes that have been rung up. The cashier can’t help. “I can’t hold all this for you. I’m sorry.”

The woman is disheveled. Her red lipstick is smudged off the edges of her lips. Her faux fur coat is more leopard-print muppet than animal at all.

She continues to frantically dig around. I am frustrated. I am tired. I am readytofuckinggohome.

I look the the cashier in the eye. “What does she need.”

“53 cents.”

Really. That’s all. Fucking 53 cents.

“I’ve got it,” I say with a sharp edge to my voice. “I’ve got it.”

As I dug the 53 cents out of my purse, I was ashamed. 53 cents was all that stood between this woman and bags of clothes, and it wasn’t even 1/5 of a cup of coffee for me. Embarrassment flushed over me as I recounted the miserable thoughts that ran through my head as I waited for this woman to hurry up already.  I handed over the money and waited my turn in line. As the woman walked out with her bounty she thanked me over and over again with an ever-so-slight slur.

I don’t know this woman’s story, and to be honest, I don’t need to. For 53 cents, it doesn’t matter.


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