A Christmas Revelation in a Store Line That Will Break Your Heart

Mom Moment 26

bootsChaunie Brusie of Tiny Blue Lines is our favorite kind of blogger. She is open and honest, full of candor and totally hilarious all at the same time. 

We love her and know you will, too. She has graciously agreed to take part in our "12 Days of Gratitude" series featuring some of our favorite bloggers musing on the concept of thankfulness. See below:

You know that Christmas song, “Sir, I Want To Buy These Shoes?” Well, I actually despise that song, because really, who does that guy think he is, assuming God made this poor kid’s mom die just so he could have a revelation about the meaning of Christmas in the grocery store?  I mean, come on.

But yesterday, while doing my grocery shopping with my two-year-old daughter Mya, I witnessed a real-life version of this song.

I whipped into the aisle with the shortest line and happened behind a dad with his two young daughters, one about five, the other about eight or nine.

The older one was clutching a little worn wallet full of crumpled dollar bills and coins and anxiously watching over a pair of furry white boots she had lovingly placed on the conveyor belt. Every fibre of her being was radiating love and anxiety towards those boots–she was literally quivering just standing there.

I smiled at her. “Those are really cute boots!” I said. “Don’t you like those, Mya?”

Mya nodded solemnly, studying the little girl as she blushed and turned away.

As the dad wrapped his order up, (because he had placed the divider stick in between his stuff and his daughter’s boots, don’tyaknow) he counted over his daughter’s money.

Instantly, the mood shifted.

“You.do.not.have.enough,” he hissed through gritted teeth. “You only have $21!” he snapped at her.

Her thin little shoulder slumped. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she whispered.

He sighed and rolled his eyes. “I can’t believe you don’t have enough.”

He snatched the money out of her hands as she gave a slight protest. She wanted to hand the clerk her money for the boots. You know how that is, right? My four-year old beams with pride when I let her buy her own pack of gum, handing over those coins like she is buying happiness. I wanted to shout at him–she wants to pay, you idiot!

“No, you don’t have enough, so I’m taking this money,” he growled to her, as he pulled a flash of twenties out of his wallet. “And I’m only putting $3 in, you hear? Only $3.”

She nodded silently, afraid to breathe before he would change his mind, every hope pinned on those hideous, perfect pre-teen boots.

His eye caught the price tag as the boots shifted towards the register. Suddenly, he snatched them up, hurtling them towards her as he shook them in her face like an insult.

“These are $29!! You got it wrong! How could you get it wrong?! These aren’t $24, these are $30 boots!!” 

Disgusted, he pitched the boots to the corner, piled up next to where they display those stale, chocolate-covered peanuts and batteries, hoping you will buy some last-minute purchases.

Every ounce of me wanted to cry out for this little girl, who stayed silent through this exchange. That’s the part that got to me the most–she didn’t even protest, not once, her father’s flinging boot rant, as if she was used to a lifetime of disappointments from this man. But how could I? What if this was some lesson from her parents in saving up money? Obviously, her dad had money to pay for the boots–I had seen the twenties. I didn’t want to judge a situation at first glance. Who knows what was really going on? But what if they could really use some help? What if I could be a Christmas angel..

The clerk interrupted my pleading reverie to myself.

“Sir, did you decide not to get the boots?” she asked, leaning slightly over the register to get his attention.

Turning with a start, his angry demeanor disappeared.

“Oh, yes,” he said sweetly, smiling at both of us like we were in this together. “She thought she had enough, but she didn’t. They were $29 and she only had $24,” he explained, steering his daughters by the shoulders out of the aisle and shaking his head. “She had it wrong.”

The clerk and I exchanged a look. “Oh,” she said.

My stomach turned and twisted through this whole exchange. I wanted to cry. I really, really wanted to buy those shoes for his daughter, please. 

But more than that, I wanted this dad to put a smile on his daughter’s face.

Because it’s not about the money or the gifts or the last-minute stresses of the holidays.

It’s about remembering kindness and love.

Even in someplace as simple as the grocery store line.

Have you ever seen something like this?


Image via Sears



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the4m... the4mutts

Wow, I was kind of hoping this had a happy ending... that's just depressing. I AM going to judge. That guy was being a dick! Why didn't he help his daughter to pick boots she could pay for? He obviously wasn't paying close attention to his kid. If money wasn't an issue (let's just assume its not) why didn't he tell the poor kid "hey, those are way more than you have! I'll make you a deal, I'll pay for the difference, but you have to do chores to make it up to me" if money WAS an issue, why not be nice to his kid? Just excuse himself from the line, and tell her "honey, we need to find ones in your price range"

This was all his damn fault for not paying better attention before they got in line. I would never do some shit like that to my kids.

nonmember avatar Emily

I'm with Mutts on this one - thee guy was being a huge jerk.

nonmember avatar Gretta

So sad.

Liane... Lianetherider

So did you pay for them or not? I would be worried about offering up the difference because of how nasty the dad was. It doesn't seem like he's the kind of guy that would take that well, you know? I agree with the4mutts' suggestions on wayyyy better ways that he could've dealt with it.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

Agree with the4mutts. Also why didn't you tell us whether you bought them or not? Kind of a pivotal point you left out.

notab... notabosley

The sad thing is, this man had an opportunity to show his daughter how to be kind....instead he was more worried about how he appeared to the check out woman. What an *ss.

nonmember avatar Anna

I am assuming she did not buy them. and I agree with the4mutts.. What a dick for a dad! It always me makes me sad i see parents being nicer to strangers than their own kids.

nonmember avatar Samantha

That was really shitty. It was a 5 dollar difference.. My god. Im pretty sure he couldve added 2 more dollars to what he said hed pay, instead of making her feel like a failure. I know when i didnt do the math right im pretty embarrassed in the check out line, i can only imagine she was as well & the father only made it worse. Jerk. Im a poor, single mother. Im responsible, but when my daughters eyes light up over some stupid toy (shes 2) i let her get it. If i have to put something of mine back (thats not absolutely needed), i do. She only gets to be my baby & my precious little girl for so long & that beautiful look she gets is something i cherish. Someday, i may have to say no, but id hope i wouldnt berate & degrade & embarrass her in the process.

nonmember avatar Rachel

What a jerk! Such a shame how some people treat their kids.

nonmember avatar Survivor

Sounds like my childhood and the way my dad treated me. Even sadder is that I know from experience this was the dad on his GOOD behavior, he's probably much worse at home in private. How I wish someone had reported my fathers verbal abuse. People have no problem reporting abusive parents if they hit a child but the verbal and emotional assaults go much deeper and are longer lasting. My heart goes out to those girls with obviously nobody to stand up for them. Pity is when you feel bad about their situation and do nothing. Empathy moves you to act on the victims behalf. I pray more of us find empathy over pity.

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