The Twilight Saga

Discussion: "Hero at the Grocery Store," by Stephanie Meyer

Introduction: One of the keys to understanding Bella Swan and "The Twilight Saga." Is to understand Stephanie Meyer. And that is because Stephanie creates her beautiful characters right out of her own "ego, nature, and spirit. To me one of the best looks "inside" Stephanie's psyche, was the snap shot she provided us, when she wrote her non fiction short story " Hero at the grocery store." (In December of 2006)


 "White Rose" discussion: How does the short story "The Hero at the Grocery store specifically help you understand Bella Swan. And how does it help you understand the "Twilight Saga in general?" 
Doc B



Hero at the Grocery Store, By MS Stephanie Meyer,  December 2006

Christmas stories happen in the most everyday places. I was part of one not long ago at the grocery store. I hope I never forget it, though the memory is bittersweet.

I had been shopping for almost an hour by the time I got to the checkout lines. My two youngest sons were with me, the four-year-old refusing to hold onto the cart, the two-year-old trying to climb out of the basket and jump down to play with his brother. Both got progressively whinier and louder as I tried to keep them under control, so I was looking for the fastest lane possible. I had two choices. In the first line were three customers, and they all had just a few purchases. In the second line was only one man, a harried young father with his own crying baby, but his cart was overflowing with groceries.

I quickly looked over the three-person line again. The woman in the front was very elderly, white haired and rail thin, and her hands were shaking as she tried unsuccessfully to unlatch her big purse. In the other line, the young father was throwing his food onto the conveyor belt with superhuman speed. I got in line behind him.

It was the right choice. I was able to start unloading my groceries before the elderly woman was even finished paying. My four-year-old was pulling candy from the shelf, and my little one was trying to help by lobbing cans of soup at me. I felt I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough.

And then, over the sound of the store’s cheery holiday music, I heard the checker in the other line talking loudly, too loudly. I glanced over as my hands kept working.

“No, I’m sorry,” the checker was almost shouting at the old woman, who didn’t seem to understand. “That card won’t work. You are past your limit. Do you have another way to pay?” The tiny old woman blinked at the checker with a confused expression. Not only were her hands shaking now, but her shoulders too. The teenage bagger rolled her eyes and sighed.

As I caught a soup can just before it hit my face, I thought to myself: “Boy, did I choose the right line! Those three are going to be there forever.” My mood was positively smug as my checker began scanning my food.

But the smiling woman directly in line behind the elderly lady had a different reaction. Quietly, with no fanfare, she moved to the older woman’s side and ran her own credit card through the reader.

“Merry Christmas,” she said softly, still smiling.

And then everyone was quiet. Even my rowdy children paused, feeling the change in the atmosphere.

It took a minute for the older woman to understand what had happened. The checker, her face thoughtful, hesitated with the receipt in her hand, not sure whom to give it to. The smiling woman took it and tucked it into the elderly woman’s bag.

“I can’t accept …” the older woman began to protest, with tears forming in her eyes.

The smiling woman interrupted her. “I can afford to do it. What I can’t afford is not to do it.”

“Let me help you out,” the suddenly respectful bagger insisted, taking the basket and also taking the old woman’s arm, the way she might have helped her own grandmother.

I watched the checker in my line pause before she pressed the total key to dab at the corner of her eyes with a tissue.

Paying for my groceries and gathering my children, I made it out of the store before the smiling woman. I had made the right choice of lanes, it seemed.

But as I walked out into the bright December sunshine, I was not thinking about my luck but about what I could not afford.

I could not afford my current, self-absorbed frame of mind.

I could not afford to have my children learn lessons of compassion only from strangers.

I could not afford to be so distant from the spirit of Christ at any time of the year—especially during this great season of giving.

I could not afford to let another stranger, another brother or sister, cross my path in need of help without doing something about it.

And that is why I hope never to forget the Christmas hero in the grocery store. The next time I have a chance to be that kind of a hero, I can’t afford to miss it.



PS by:  Doc, 
One day I got called by a high school that is located smack dab in the middle of Stephanie's LDS community. "Could you take over for our physics teacher today? His wife is having a baby. "Of course." I replied. As I entered the high schools lunch room, here came two boys, that had to be the school's "Top Jocks." They were BIG, well groomed, and handsome. Each was wearing a letter Jacket, with four stars apiece. And that ment that they had been first string starting athletes even when they were just freshman. But now they were seniors.  In front of me was a gangely "Bella" sort of a girl carring a stack of books that went all the way up to her chin. She tripped and the books went everywhere. But the amazing thing was that the " School's King Jocks"  both immediately dropped to their knees to help her find and restack her books for her. After she left. I said to the boys "I am proud of you." "Thank you Sir!" They both immediately responded, "but just why would you be proud of us?" Now that I know that Stephanie and her friends teach at churches near by I think that I have the answer to my question. Yours, Doc


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Replies to This Discussion

Wow Doc, thanks for sharing that with us. I think that we forget along the way that there are so many ways that we can help others. When I hear stories about my family from back in the 1800's and how life was back then, and how people help others in need and I look at the world today. More people are in such a hurry that they forget to stop and smell the roses. when there is a dister we all come together but there are little things we could do everyday and change some ones life just like the lady in the gro store.
Back in the 1800?!
I have family story that go all the way back to the 1800's That have been past down for generations
The B in doc b, comes from Lord Burleigh, Queen Elizabeth's chancellor. He came up the the idea of a national income tax UGGGG!!

Lots of us have old family stories.
You make an excellent point. Stephanie, like Bella wants to love as she goes through life, Doc

Doc that is wonderfull if more people would take time and stop to lend a hand to one another the world would be in better shape. I see that the thinking of others first before one self is one of the charateristics of Bella, to worry of others before her self is something I wish could see more in the world like Bella and Edward do in twilight. The story remined me of the way in twilight Bella tries to help and protect those close to her without regards to herself personally and physically. It shouldn't have to be a disaster for people to come together and in twilight Bella says that it shouldn't be that that werewolfs should hate vampires and viceversa. Like in the story above one person makes a decision to help a person and the bagger followed. Twilight it took one person to change that and bring all kinds of people together that is Bella. Hey Doc mrs Stephanie Meyers is in my opinion a wonderfull person with a great soul and heart.
Manuel, that was a great statement I agree with you.
I agree with Manuel as well Debbie. Bella is definitely a self-sacrificing, giving type of girl.
Boy I couldn't agree with you more. Stephanie said "Bella's story is of a girl trying to love. And that is exactly how Stephanie tries to live her life. I think a little Stephanie rubs off on all of us as we read Bella's story., Doc

You are so right, and sometimes i forget but I should be better. I was in a car reck an 18 wheeler T- bone my side of the truck and even my doctors said I should not be alive. He had a reason left for me here and I try to thank him everyday but I slip some days.

I love in the story when the older woman says " You Can't pay for my groceries!" And the younger woman says "There is no way that I can NOT DO IT !!! ! How beautiful. And yes I have no doubt that God has a special mission for you. And it is going to be beautiful, Love, Bear

Dear Amanda, I think that Stephanie and I are in full agreement about one thing: Being a Christian basicaly comes down to living a life of loving and forgiving, May God bless and keep you, Love, Doc


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