November 6, 2009

endless praise for a measly buck ...

I remember being in one of the many cheaply named 'Dollar Store's one day and witnessing something that I will never forget. For some reason, this incident just popped into my head once again. I was with my mom, she was looking for something very specific, I can't remember what. We were just moseying around, in and out of conversation, when I saw a young boy, maybe about eight or nine years old, with his father. The boy was looking through a pile of frames - appropriately priced at one dollar each. He chose one in particular and ran up to his father with great excitement in his eyes asking "Dad! Dad! Can I get this frame to put my certificate in??!!" He must have done something pretty special to receive a certificate and he was clearly proud of his achievement. His father yanked the frame from his hand replying, "Put it back! We don't need a damn frame for that!!" The boy took the frame and placed it back on the shelf with a slightly defeated expression on his face. I was enraged. I pulled my mother to the side of the aisle and told her what happened. "Should I go buy that frame for the boy?" I asked. "Don't get into it, it's not our business" she replied. Which was completely true. I had no right eavesdropping on their sad moment in the Dollar Store and I had no right to override the father's wishes. But I couldn't help feeling like this boy was simply looking for some praise and to no avail. I contemplated confronting the father and giving him my unwanted opinion ... but again, I realized it was not my business.

This happened at least six or seven years ago and I can't believe how it haunts me still. I understand that money is tight and for certain families there is nothing extra allowed. But is ONE DOLLAR seriously going to break the bank?? Couldn't you fore-go the glass cleaner or a can of corn and buy your son something that will really show him that you are proud of him?? Man. It still burns me right up. You should have seen the boy's face. I hope that moment didn't have the impact on him that it did on me. Or worse.

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