It was the tiniest moment. Joe and I were rushing around to get some things done before our trip to North Bay. We were just at the cashier's desk in the grocery store and Joe remembered that he'd forgotten to pick up orange juice. He's on some medication for which he needs to drink extra orange juice. I am faster when I'm in my power chair so I went to get it. I haven't bought orange juice in years. It's not on the 'diabetic's shopping list' and was surprised when I got there. There was a wall of choices, and there was a little boy standing in front of the wall. His mom was patiently waiting for him to pick a jug of juice.
I didn't want to interupt so I waited. And looked at the wall. There was juice with no pulp, with some pulp, with extra pulp. There was juice with added calcium, with added vitamen C, and there was juice with nothing added. There was old fashioned orange juice. There was orange juice made from concentrate. There was orange juice not made from concentrate. There was an orange juice made for every temperment. My, oh, my, is this evidence that we've all come to take ourselves a bit too seriously. I mean, after all, it's ORANGE JUICE.
He was taking a long time. He looked frozen in front of the fridges. His mom looked at me with apology in her eyes. I smiled. She must have been up to something. Finally he opened the door, closed his eyes and reached in a grabbed a juice. He looked sick and exhausted when he handed it to her. She thanked him for picking the very best juice. He smiled victoriously. She whispered to me as I moved in to grab a carton. 'His shyness is crippling him. He's got to learn to assert himself. He's got to learn to trust his own judgements.' He glanced over and smiled at his mom. She was relieved he hadn't heard.
I didn't know what brand Joe drank. I've never paid attention. But I saw one which looked like it was the one and grabbed it. Figuring that Joe wasn't the kind that would care. I handed him the juice he put it in the bag. It was all over.
On our way up in the car, I had to know. 'What did you think of the juice I picked out?'
'Really,' he said, 'It's just juice.
'And', I thought to myself, 'sometimes it's victory.'