The Widow’s Mite
By Janice Daugharty
Copyright 2010 Janice Daugharty
I now know what it’s like to be poor and hungry; I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of mercy.
Once a week, every week, for the past few years, I go through the same process of reasoning myself into leaving my farm place, my backwoods paradise in Southeast Georgia, to travel thirty miles into Valdosta to shop for groceries: My husband does most of our shopping, but it’s not fair for him to have to do it all. I drive a new luxury car; I have money-enough. I’m healthy and fit as a sixty-two year old woman can be, and I have no physical disfigurements that would make me shy away from public places. Actually, I like being with people, real people, most of the time, so I’m not agoraphobic, only jaded. And frankly, I can no longer stand the spoiled privileged upper-class who shops where I shop on the right side of town.
So, this week I went to the wrong side of town, to a supermarket where the underclass shops—soul food, soul prices, soul people—and where, I have to admit, one of my friends had the back glass of her car knocked out for a cheap radio, not even stereo.
Shopping cart full, I was in and out of the supermarket before I even caught a rumor of wrong-doing. Going fine. See, my car hadn’t been broken into, I told myself as I unloaded my groceries from the cart to my car trunk.
It was after noon. I was starving. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast at six that morning. Across the broken blacktop of the large parking lot, I could see a small fast-food chicken and biscuit place. My favorite food—fried chicken.