Hello darlin’

Heart attack #1

I had my first heart attack of the day a few minutes ago.
I’m out grocery shopping. At my first stop, I used the restroom. An employee had just finished cleaning and was leaving as I went in. It was quiet, and I thought the restroom was empty. I entered the stall and just as I sat down, I heard a man’s voice in the next stall!
“Hello darlin’…”
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
Then he broke into song:
“It’s been a long time…since you left me…”
It was a phone ringer belonging to the woman in the next stall.

Heart attack #2

Before I even had time to tell the kids that little story, I learned that a child who is begging me for anonymity had door-dinged the car next to us. This time it was more than just a bit of our paint – she chipped the paint off the other vehicle so that bare metal was exposed.  This is going to rust unless it’s repaired.

This is becoming a Friday tradition.  sigh.  Now I have another one of those little notes out there in the wide world.

updated to add:

Heart attack #3

Last week when I left my first-ever note of the sort, I didn’t hear back from the owner of the car.  This time, after a 3 hour delay, the owner called.

I knew it as soon as I saw the unfamiliar number on my cellphone, and I could hear my heart pounding as  I answered the phone.  She was very courteous as she introduced herself, and I thought she sounded just a little too business-like.  While I wondered just how much this was going to cost, she laughed and assured me that her 9yo car had plenty of dents and scratches from her grandchildren – she wasn’t worried about our little addition.

This was quite generous on 2 levels – her car looked pristine to me, but I wasn’t going to argue.  She said that she just called to thank me for leaving the note.  She went on and on about that part.  I won’t sing my own praises, but she certainly did.  It makes me a little sad that common honesty seems so rare that people praise it so lavishly.

But wait – common honesty?  As I was checking out at WalMart today, I saw the puzzled clerk ring up my green leaf lettuce as a Hass avocado.  Judging from the expression on her face she knew she had it wrong but decided not to care.  She bagged the lettuce and finished up my order.  Without thinking twice, I decided I didn’t care either.  I certainly would have spoken up if I were overcharged or if an item was missed, but who complains about being undercharged?  I gladly left with my $.25 lettuce and several other bags in tow.

Now I’m not so sure it was the right thing to do, but I know they would be puzzled and scornful if I tried to correct it after the fact.  In fact, doing so would probably cost them more in labor than it saved them, and I don’t know if I even have the receipt.  If there’s a moral here, I guess it is don’t hesitate to do what’s right, even in the little things. Sometimes you only have one chance to get it right.


  1. Don’t feel bad about being undercharged…..Walmart is famous for OVER charging….as I have experienced on many occasions!

    Funny stories!

  2. That’s a very good price for lettuce OR avocados here in the Denver Colorado area. High desert. Lettuce is reasonable at $1.49 and Avocados at less than a dollar each.

  3. Very funny! (about “Hello darlin'”) …
    My husband used to get so upset with me over being careless about hitting someone’s car, and showed me how much damage can be done! (I’ve changed.) I appreciate your integrity so much and it’s so important(!!!) what you are teaching your children about honesty, loving others, and integrity, by leaving a note. When they are old enough, and if it ever happens again 🙂 it probably never will, you could have them leave the note–that would be an even more awesome testimony to the world. Thanks again for the wonderful laugh!

  4. Ann,
    I might do that. It’s a great idea!

    I was concerned about that too – that’s why I was very specific about the location and nature of the damage in both notes. I meant to take pictures with my cell phone but both times I was so wound up over the incident that I forgot to do it.

  5. When I read that you left your info on the first car, all I could think was this person is going to take you for a loop. They are going to say this huge amount of damage was caused by you, when it was not. I am glad that nothing came of it.

    There is far to little honesty in this world, its why we have goods made in China that now have store stickers over the part of the label that tells you where its made. I have noticed this as a growing trend in the past 6 months. I find a product I am interested in, flip the tag over to read the Made in … and there is a store label over it. Fortunately for me I have a handy list of barcodes and where they are made by bar code #.

  6. I’ve had a similar thing happen to me at the grocery store. The next trip, I just put the similar item in my cart, let them ring it up, paid for it, and then left the item there in the store (had one of my kids run it back to the produce rack). That way, my conscience didn’t bother me and I hadn’t stolen from them, and very little labor was done on their part.

  7. Oh yikes, I would have been freaked out too by that cell ringer! Eeeek!

    It is sad how people are surprised to see honesty, isn’t it? Not too long ago I bought two gallons of milk with my groceries and didn’t notice until I got home and looked at the receipt again (for my price book) that I’d only been charged for one. Later in the day I returned to the store, went through the line (same cashier), explained what had happened, and said I needed to pay for the second gallon. The clerk was flabbergasted! She said this was the first time she’d ever seen anyone do this. I explained, maybe, but I certainly wasn’t going to knowingly STEAL it! She looked at me even more puzzled and said, “But no one would know!” I said, “God knows.” So maybe she thinks I’m a complete weirdo. But maybe in spite of that I was able to be a good Christian example if only in that tiny thing.

  8. Shelly and KIm the exact same thing happened to us just a few weeks ago. We were in the walmart parking lot when I realized my daughters cd was under my purse. So I said we have to go back in and buy this. A walmart worker who was doing shopping carts heard me and said WOW an honest customer. Actually the thought didn’t cross my mind to keep it and if I did it would be like allowing my daughter to steal. So she happily went back inside and went throught the checkout to pay for it.

  9. About the under charged at Walmart update…

    I’ll never forget when our oldest was little (maybe 4 or 5) we somehow got out of Target without paying for the DVD she was holding. I noticed as we were getting in the car and walked right back in to the service desk. I explained we had this DVD that didn’t get scanned and we needed to pay for it. I was trying to set a good example for my daughter and the lovely Target employee was shocked we came back in (and said so) and was actually reluctant to ring it up!

  10. I don’t know about WalMart’s policy, but the grocery stores around here refund all your money if an item rings up incorrectly. I point out the mistake if they’re overcharging me. In your situation I would let it go, since it would result in free lettuce instead of just really cheap lettuce. Twenty-five cent avacodos make me green with envy. Oh the guac that could be made!

  11. LOL!!!!!!! This had my rolling. We get all our exercise for the week when we go shopping. I usually park two blocks from the store so we can take up two spots and pull straight out. My van also has one of those beeper that tells the world we’re backing up.

    thanks for the laugh.

  12. We have a 15 passenger van. I park in 2 spots which allows room for us to get in and out without hitting any other vehicles and for us to safely stand. It also leaves room when someone parks to close. Just a thought for you…

  13. Oh my! I’m sure you were glad you were already sitting on the potty when that happened. 🙂 My parents listened to country music, but that would have startled me until I heard more of the song.

  14. Oh my! I would have died…then laughed!

  15. Sliding doors and lower to the ground is what I miss about our Plymouth Voyager. sighhhhh

  16. Giggling over what your face must have looked like! 🙂

  17. LOL!!!! Thank you for a fantastic afternoon laugh. I needed that!!!!!

  18. I love Conway Twitty!

Don't just think it: say it!

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