My daughters and I were out school shopping on Friday, and we had a great time. Only one of them is going back to school – my oldest graduated from college this past spring. But my youngest is starting 5th grade, with all that entails.
Along with the requisite jeans, tops and new undies (and this year we added bras to that list), and the school supplies needed, we also made a stop at Dick’s Sporting Goods to get a pair of goalie gloves for her. She is in her second season of soccer, having started in spring soccer earlier this year, and she is learning the position of goalie.
We found them easily enough and made our way to the checkout counter. When the young man rang them up they showed a price of $21.99, but they had been on a rack marked as $14.99. I questioned the price, and the young man said he would go back and check to make sure they had rung up correctly.
As he went back to check, I thought about how two years ago I would have never spoken up. I would have paid the $21.99 and never said a word about how they had been on a rack marked at a lower price. But I spoke up now, even when my daughter said to me, “Mom, it’s not important; don’t make a big deal.” That would have been my same thought a few years ago – don’t rock the boat, don’t make a scene.
And I wasn’t making a scene. I didn’t get nasty, I just pointed out that they were on a rack with a different price listed than had showed on the register. And the young man was very accommodating and went to check.
He came back and confirmed that they were indeed on the wrong rack, but their price was still $21.99. Then he said, because of the mix up, he would only charge me $14.99. I didn’t ask him to do that, he did that out of the kindness of his heart.
As we walked out of Dick’s Sporting Goods Store that day, I realized that over the past few years of dealing with doctors, nurses, radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, etc. I had grown a spine along the way. A year of dealing with medical professionals as an advocate for my husband, and then two years re-adjusting to life on my own as a widow had helped me to become stronger about what I wanted, and more able to speak up for myself.
It’s a process, and a long journey. But I know now that I have taken great steps long the way. And that feels good to me.