I empathize with you. More than once I have been trapped behind a group of chatty shoppers blocking the aisle to the item I need. More often than not, at Wal-Mart. Typically, they just stand there and continue chatting while the million things on my to-do list are flying through my head and the clock is ticking by with lightening speed. With fury boiling I turn my cart around, go all the way back down the aisle, around the next aisle, and to the end of the first aisle to get my needed item. In an annoyed but silent huff, I continue on my hurried way.
I’ve also been caught in the line of congested shoppers trying to exit the building behind that one individual that is moving slower than a snail in winter. I glance at my watch every few seconds, as though the gesture itself will move the individual along faster. As soon as my chance comes, I bolt out the alternative door and as politely as possible, walk past the individual and continue on my hurried way.
It’s a hurried world and we’re all on our hurried ways and sometimes, more often than not at Wal-Mart, we tend to learn the very inconvenient truth that the world doesn’t revolve around us.
As you proved, you were clearly aware that Wal-Mart doors, despite their signs, open no matter if you are entering or exiting. As you did, it was your option to skip around the growing line of exiters that were piling up behind my mother as she hobbled out of Wal-Mart that day. It was even your option, to do as you did, and obnoxiously state loud enough for every one in the lobby, half of Wal-Mart, and half of the parking lot to hear, “UGHHH, are you f***ing kidding me, can you move any slower?!”
Since you didn’t stick around long enough to hear the answer, I’m hoping some day you’ll find it here.
Yes. Yes, she could have moved slower that day. You see, you only knew a small part of the story. You only saw the lady leaning on the cart, moving at a snails pace, chatting with her daughter, building a line of people patiently making their way out of Wal-Mart.
What you didn’t know is that on a beautiful summer day thirty years before that lady took her young daughter to a park to play. While her daughter played that lady finished up a game of Rummy she had been playing with a local man who was at the park frequently. After words that lady spread out a blanket and laid down to a wonderful book. Moments later the man, sore from losing a silly card game, dropped a cement filled picnic table on her. If it wasn’t for her daughters deadly screams, that table would have landed on the base of her neck, covering her entire body, instantly killing her. Instead, in her immediate rush to reach the screams of her daughter, it landed on her leg… resulting in a battle she would fight for the rest of her life.
What you didn’t know that day at Wal-Mart was that thirty years before you got stuck behind her hobbling out of the store, that lady was told she would never walk again. That she spent three years fighting all odds so that she could be there for her daughter. That she not only walked again, but she went on to raise three little girls all by herself. That she worked. She took her daughters to the park and fishing and hiking and camping.
You didn’t know that three weeks before, she slipped on ice damaging a leg that already gave her so many problems. That she struggled to get by, let alone drive. That her daughter took a day off of her life to drive this lady around to get all of her shopping done. That she had been in that store for over two hours. That she walked across the parking lot to get in that store. That she didn’t use a motorized cart. That the only thing holding her up was that Wal-Mart cart with its squeaky wheel that twirled around like a ballerina on speed. That talking to her daughter on the way out the door was the only thing keeping her from collapsing right there at your impatient feet.
What you didn’t know is that woman. That woman that took up an entire minute of your entire life while you waited for her to get through Wal-Mart’s exit doors is a medical miracle. That she should have been bedridden when her daughter was barely five years old. That that woman, this woman, who shouldn’t have ever been able to walk again, walked that daughter down the aisle to give her away after the child’s own father had left so many years before.
What you didn’t know is that that woman, the woman who took up an entire minute of your entire life fought with every ounce of strength in her so that she was able to be in every minute of my life.
So to answer your question, yes, yes she could walk slower.