Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lending a Helping Hand

I was at the grocery store the other day, getting a start on Thanksgiving shopping. We're hosting David's family, plus a number of PEFers who are staying around over the break -- it's going to be so much fun! :) But since we live in a third-floor walk-up, we figured it would be easiest to get our Thanksgiving groceries in stages.

So there I was in Wegmans, picking out a turkey and getting all the non-perishable items for the big dinner. I was flying solo this trip, since David was tied up with work -- I figured I could handle this trip on my own, since it wasn't all that much to pick up, and I could get David to bring the groceries up when I got back.

I got to the checkout line, and put everything on the conveyor belt. Just another trip to the grocery store, waiting in line... My mind was occupied with schedules and plans for Thanksgiving prep. When I finally got to the head of the line, I figured I'd exchange the normal pleasantries with the cashier and then head off on my merry way.

Instead, the cashier turned to me, looked at my belly, and asked if she could page a Helping Hands assistant to help me carry my things out to my car.

I was taken aback. A Helping Hands assistant? For me? Just because I'm pregnant?

I tried to demur, but she insisted that she would feel a lot better if she could get someone to help me out. She was very kind and solicitous, not making my pregnancy out to be a disability, but just trying to make sure I'd be okay. It was a little embarrassing -- I'm not used to being asked if I needed assistance. And I didn't really need the help; I had, after all, gotten everything into my cart, so surely I could get it all out as well.

But mostly, I was touched. It was nice to see that society in general, and Wegmans in particular, values pregnancy and wants to provide support to pregnant women and their unborn babies. And it was also exciting -- I'm clearly visibly pregnant enough for strangers to offer assistance, rather than worry that they're about to insult a woman who just happens to carry extra weight around her midsection. :)

So I just wanted to give a brief shout-out to Wegmans, in thanks for this service. The solicitude of a perfect stranger for me and my baby really made my day.