I Kiss A Fool Everyday! (But I Still Love Him)


The other day I was standing in line at the local grocery store. The cashier I got that day was rather “chatty.” She was a pleasant woman who looked to be around fifty. While she scanned my items, she never stopped talking, which is fine, I guess, except that she was not talking to me but to the woman cashier next to her. I really didn’t mind; sometimes its nice to just go through a line without having to interact. But I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation which consisted of tidbit gossip regarding the “personnel” of the store. However, I had to laugh when I overheard the other cashier say, “My nose is itching!” To which my cashier responded rather jovially, “You know what they say, ‘When your nose itches you are going to kiss a fool.’” The other woman laughed. Then as I turned to walk away, my cashier blurted out with gusto, “I kiss a fool everyday… but I still love him.” She was, of course, affectionately referring to her husband.

As I walked out of the grocery store towards my car that day to the sound of women’s laughter, I had to smile to myself. Funny how true some silly statements really are! I certainly have done some pretty foolish things in my day. A number of years ago, I was in line at a Subway shop located across from my office. As I approached the cashier, I got out the money to pay for my sub. The cost was six dollars and some change. I had in my pocket a twenty-dollar bill, a five dollar bill and change. For some reason I just didn’t want to break that twenty. It seems as soon as you break a twenty-dollar bill you might as well toss it to the wind because you always spend it and you never have anything to show for it. Alas, it appeared I had no options but to break it. However, lo and behold, a solution emerged. There in front of me was the “give a penny, take a penny box.” A dollar bill was in that box. I gleefully took the dollar out and handed it to the cashier along with my five and the change. My twenty had been saved. But as soon as I paid for it and started to walk out of the store, it dawned on me that perhaps I had robbed the “Tip” box. I was so embarrassed that I scampered out to the car where my wife was waiting. As I got into the car, with heart pounding, I recounted my deed. She hung her head down and slowly shook it. “Please”, she said, “Don’t tell me you robbed them of their tip money!” Nothing more needed to be said. I quickly put the car into gear and, for the first time since my teenage years, I laid “rubber” as we pulled out.

Well, the next week I went back into that same Subway for lunch. As I made my way down the line, I kept looking for the “give a dollar, take a dollar” box. As I paid my bill, I spied the “unmarked” box. I nonchalantly said to the young girl behind the counter. “Hey, is this your “tip” box?” She smiled and said, “Yes.” Then she leaned forward and said, “You wouldn’t believe it, I heard some guy came in here last week and took a dollar out of it to pay for his sub.” I stammered, “No way!” “Yeah” she said, “The nerve of some people!” (On a subsequent visit I righted my wrong to the ‘Tip Jar.’)

Jacques Maritain once said: “We don’t love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities.”

Well, I don’t know what got into me the day I raided the “tip” box. But I learned that we all play the fool from time to time. I keep reminding my wife that our wedding vows said “for better or worse”, even if “worse” comes up more often than “better”. My wife doesn’t like it when I tell this story because, well… the story stands as evidence against her that she kisses a fool everyday. I can only hope she still loves me.


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