I’ve noticed recently that I move very quickly through day to day life. People have always told me that I talk fast, walk fast, and drive fast. My grandmother tells me often that I need to sit down somewhere sometimes. I hear these comments often, but most recently came to terms with this truth myself.

Running errands is no different. I sometimes like to think of myself as a speed racer when shopping. I know that I can be impulsive with buying things, so the quicker I’m in and out, the better for my bank account and my guilty conscience.

My trip to the grocery store fits the same bill! I’ve set new personal records on how quickly I can grab my items on my list and make it to the self-checkout line. “Excuse Me,” “You’re Good,” and “My Bad” are often my go-to phrases as I conquer the aisles of my local grocery store like a pro.

I usually make a list of items to ensure I don’t forget anything, but for whatever reason, this particular day, it slipped my mind. Moving like I was pressed for time, I knew what I had to do– Enter autopilot mode, and quickly grab the five items I needed and nothing else.

Honey.
Pasta Sauce.
Salmon.
Red Wine.
Salsa.

I replayed the list repeatedly in my head to be sure I wouldn’t arrive home disappointed, realizing I forgot something. I felt like I was off to a great start as I passed the tea, making my way to the honey.

As I move on to the next item on my mental checklist, my phone rings, and it’s my aunt finally returning my phone call from earlier. Ten minutes into the phone conversation, and I’m now strolling through the aisles with an overflowing shopping basket full of miscellaneous items that weren’t even on my list. I don’t need them, but of course, I also don’t put them back.

As distracted as I was, it was hard to ignore the scent that consumed my nostrils in aisle two. We locked eyes in aisle three while I was grabbing wine, and he was debating whiskey. We cracked a smile at each other, and I continued with my phone conversation and mission–two items left to grab.

Realizing that time has gotten away from me, I quickly end my hectic phone conversation with my aunt, grab jelly off the shelf, and hit a quick right to head to the register. Just as I’m turning the corner, I slam directly into a cart, and everything in my hand hits the floor!

“I’m so sorry,” a voice utters as he begins helping me pick up items. “You’re good. It was my fault,” quickly leaves my lips as I look up and lock eyes with the sweet scent from earlier! A smile soon covers my face as the right side of his mouth begins to curl up. “I’ll go grab a worker to help clean this up”, he says.” Shortly after, I hear them on the intercom say, “Clean up on aisle 8.”

They were referring to the busted jelly jar, but I was more convinced that the mess in aisle 8 was me.

He returned rather quickly, and while waiting for a worker, we began conversing. “You passed me like five times before finally crashing into me”, he joked. You must be in a hurry.” “Nah, not really, just moving faster than I need to be apparently,” I lie. I offered a small chuckle to lighten the mood, but truthfully I was in a hurry until our little grocery store fender bender. Now, I’m not usually a person at a loss for words, but at this point, I’m both embarrassed and too nervous to flirt back. I thank him for his help and continue to the checkout line slowly, being sure not to make an even bigger fool of myself.

As I finish checking out, I am met once again with the same smile from aisle 3, and a request to help me load my groceries in the car. “By the way, my name’s Derrick,” he states. “Nice to meet you, Derrick. I’m embarrassed, I mean Terra, I’m Terra.”

Conversation with him was effortless, and I quickly forgot the embarrassing run-in that brought us together just minutes earlier. “Hey, I heard this weekend would be perfect weather for a walk in the park with ice cream and a new friend. You down?” he requests.” “Sure,” I replied.

We exchange numbers and one final smile before parting ways.

I sat in my car, nerves now at ease, a smile on my face, and a calm spirit looking forward to continuing our conversation the upcoming weekend.

Life is funny sometimes–instead of setting a new personal grocery store record, the importance of slowing down was presented to me in an unorthodox way.