Saturday Morning At The Grocery: Of Red Blazers And Rousing Enthusiasm

You know, my gentle readers, that you can always count me in for some harmless unexpected looniness…

•  Walking into our small town Kroger on Saturday morning around 11:30 a.m. I chanced upon a group of people, clapping loudly, who were, depending on your point of view, blocking my path OR gathering together in the floral department to watch an important event.

[I’ll go with the latter explanation.]

Looking in the direction that everyone was looking, I saw 8, maybe 10, little old white-haired ladies, all dressed in bright red blazers. Some of the ladies were in wheel chairs. Some, seated on folding chairs, had their walkers beside them. A couple were standing on their own.

Despite their matching crimson attire, these little old ladies didn’t look they were emissaries from the Devil sent to steal my soul, so I decided to join in and clap too.

# # #

# # #

 Naturally I wanted to know what was going on, so I continued to watch.  First, an older gentleman, our MC, dressed to the nines in his Sunday best, mumbled something into a microphone… and we all clapped and nodded in agreement with him.

Then with a dramatic flourish of his arms, which left him wobbly, he pulled a shiny white polyester tablecloth off an easel that was tucked in among the roses. Being a latecomer to this event I hadn’t noticed the easel before, but I could tell that underneath that tablecloth was a piece of art.

The crowd, upon seeing the art, oohed and aahed… and we all clapped enthusiastically.

The MC, still tottering, then presented a large award plaque, presumably for first place in whatever this event was about, to one of the little old ladies… and we all clapped and smiled in her direction.

Continuing on, he slowly handed smaller awards to the other little old ladies in the bright red blazers… and we all clapped as each individual received her award.

# # #

# # #

 Now I know it’s often said that kids today get too many participation trophies that devalue the winner’s accomplishment, while falsely inflating the value of everyone else’s contribution.  And that may be true.

But after seeing the joy on these little old ladies’ faces, I’m going to suggest that when it comes to a Senior Citizen Art Event In The Floral Department Of Your Local Grocery, it hurts no one to give participation plaques to everyone involved.

Especially when each recipient, upon receiving a plaque, grins like the cute kid she used to be.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted most days.

44 thoughts on “Saturday Morning At The Grocery: Of Red Blazers And Rousing Enthusiasm”

  1. What a cute story! Glad you were there to participate. The elderly in our country tend to be overlooked, like they don’t matter any more. They each have an interesting life story to tell if we would just slow down and listen. I hope to be a little old lady in a red blazer someday receiving a participation award!

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  2. Some of the most interesting things that I’ve ever heard came to me as a story from an elderly person. They’ve had so much experience in their lives and just want to have someone listen.

    Participation awards later in life make sense; the same awards for children don’t provide the correct life lesson.

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    1. Andrew, I know what you mean. Sometimes the oldest people in a group is the best one to listen to. Life experience + time to reflect = wisdom. Or at least it does when a person is inclined to want to be wise!

      You make an excellent point about children and participation awards. There’s a time and place for everything, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, I knew you’d love this story! Being recognized, in this way that seemed kind of loony to me, clearly made these little old ladies happy & their spirits rise. And mine, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, I’m of the Firm Belief that everyone needs a little applause in his/her life.

    I used to love the old Bozo the Clown show. Every time Bozo said or did something that he thought was worthy, he’d make a flourishing gesture, and the resident band would play the “ta da!” music. I became certain that I needed that in my life. Heck, not just me–wouldn’t everyone like A Day With The Ta Da Band? I still wish I could make that happen. Sigh.

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    1. nance, I agree. I try to clap enthusiastically for anyone who deserves some recognition. I don’t remember Bozo the Clown, but if you want a “ta da!” at your fingertips, there must be a way to do that using a smart phone app of some sort. Think of the possibilities! 😉

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    1. Laughing out loud, Akilah. No, turns out my assessment of the group was spot on. They were harmless, albeit quite a sight to behold. Those blazers, either a bit too large or a bit too small, were bright. Did I mention that?

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  4. Bravo to you for taking the time to stop and interact instead of getting irritated and walking on. Literally stopping to smell the roses you were! I think now more than ever we need to pay attention to what is going on around us instead of blindly going about our business. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, you make a good point about paying attention to everything that’s going on around us. This was the most unexpected event to stumble upon at a grocery on Saturday morning, but it was also delightful. And blogworthy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, thanks. I did clap loudly, as did everyone else who was watching this event. It’s not every day that I get to go to an awards ceremony, you know! 🙂

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    1. Retirementallychallenged, I still don’t know exactly what this group was about, nor do I know why the event was being held where it was, BUT it was fun to clap along and see the happiness. Why not, huh?

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  5. Lovely!! This was heart-warming. I’ve never really understood the issue with participation ribbons or the like. Does it hurt the winners (who know they’ve won) to have others acknowledged for their effort? I’m all about the positive. Kids know more about winning and losing than we think; they watch sporting events and play video games, so they get it. The more confidence we can establish in our lives, starting with childhood, the better we are able to handle the slings and arrows of life later on. Off my soapbox now!

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    1. Margaret, you make good points about the good that can come from participation trophies. I didn’t get any along the way, but couldn’t say if getting them would have changed who I am now, or not. I imagine if parents think the trophy is positive, so will the kid. And if the parents think the trophy is bogus, so will the kid. It’s all about parental spin– which kids pick up on.

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  6. At first, I thought maybe you’d walked up on Kroger’s version of the Mecca Cheer. Not that I’d assume Kroger even has a cheer, or that any store other than Mecca does, but that’s what I thought of. It’s too bad we don’t have Kroger around here anymore, because I was unaware they were such a patron of the arts…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, I don’t know that Kroger has the Mecca Cheer. Have never heard of it, but who know? I cannot speak for all Kroger stores, but this one had the best art thing going on I’ve ever seen. Great fun.

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  7. I was grinning like a fool just reading this, I can imagine it was so heartwarming in person ❤
    I know what you mean about grinning like the child they used to be. I remember that phase in the last 2 years of my mom's life. If we're lucky, we'll all get to that point too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I stumbled upon this event and it charmed the socks off me. It was clear that the awards meant a lot to these little ladies, and their smiles showed it. Interesting observation about your mother. I agree, smiling like a kid up to the end is a good goal.

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