The Sam’s Club Creeper

This doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but check out this stick bug!
They’re called “Walking Sticks” which I think sounds Native. Hail Chief Walking Stick!  His head is near my sister’s fingers.  His bottom near her wrist.  And yes, that’s my sister holding it.  And no, I wouldn’t hold it.  I’m one of THOSE kinds of girls.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about my crazy trip to the city with my kids last week.  There was a little gem of an incident that I didn’t tell you about for a couple of reasons, but after talking with my mom yesterday I thought maybe I really ought to tell you about it. I hope it means something to you. I hope you need to hear it today.

As I was sitting in Sam’s Club food court munching on one of their amazing hot dogs, a woman walked in and ordered some food. The first thing I noticed about her was her green knit bag. It was gorgeous. It didn’t match her jeans and t-shirt outfit, but she didn’t care. You could tell she didn’t. The bag served it’s purpose. It was pretty. Who cared if it matched? Maybe I was just assuming I knew how she felt about it because that’s how I feel about handbags and purses, but it made me watch her. She had yet to turn around, but I couldn’t help watching her. I wanted to look away before people in the food court started noticing what a creeper I was being, but I just… couldn’t. After she picked up her order, she turned around.
I saw her face.
She was tan, her shoulder length dark brown hair was greying near her ears. Her build looked like it had once been very trim, but childbirth had left her figure with more, as it very often does. I watched her eyes as she filled up her drink at the soda fountain. She was pretty. She wasn’t trying to be pretty, but she was. There was something very natural in her face -something that made me believe she was a REAL woman, nothing fake about her. I watched her try and move through the spades of children clamoring to get at the ketchup and relish, and then I watched her sit down.

She didn’t sit alone -there were a few people around her. Through my amateur lip-reading skills, I found out she was their mother. They were all in their late teens/early twenties, and they were all rough around the edges. The woman’s back was facing me, but it became apparent that she, too, was a little rough.
Rough people have the tendency to intimidate me -not something I’m proud of -so when I felt prompted to TELL her that I thought she was beautiful, I dismissed it.
Ha, I told myself, Can you imagine what they’d think of me? No way, no how. No. I’m going to sit here and finish my hot dog.

But something stirred inside of me, and I felt the prompting again.
NO! I told myself. I am NOT going over there! That’s crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy. CRAZY. They’d never come back to Sam’s Club for fear of running into the crazy woman with two children who eat the gum under the tables.
I put my full attention into my hot dog, and I finished it.
As I waited for my children to finished theirs (or, let’s face it, even take a FEW bites), my eyes wandered back to the woman, and the prompting came again.

Tell her. Let her know she’s beautiful.

Maybe, I reasoned, I would tell her LATER.  Take later. I’d probably run into her somewhere in the vast warehouse, and THEN I’d tell her.

Don’t put it off. She might not be here to shop.

But I’ll scare her!

You won’t.


YOU WON’T. She needs to know.

I finally took a deep breath, loaded the kids into the cart where they couldn’t escape and took the LONG (practically 3 foot!) walk to where she was sitting. I gently pressed my finger to her shoulder, and she turned to look up at me.
“Excuse me,” I said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt, but I saw you walk in and I thought you were so beautiful. I just wanted to tell you that.”
Her eyebrows knit down in confusion, “Oh my gosh,” she said, softly. Her tone hadn’t been soft since she’d walked into the food area. “Really?”
She looked up at me, and in her eyes I saw that she needed to be told because she had forgotten. She honestly didn’t see any beauty in herself.

But someone did.
The one that had formed her -crafted her, created her… He saw it. He had not forgotten. Oh, how His heart ached that she had. He wanted her to know. He wanted her to remember.
“I just thought I should tell you,” I said, shifting awkwardly from one foot to the other.
“Thank you,” she said.
I nodded, and walked away.

As I walked away, I heard her children snickering. It didn’t matter. I had done what I was asked, and she heard what He wanted her to hear.
Did I feel crazy? Silly? Ridiculous?

No. Not at all.
I felt touched by a loving Father in Heaven who ached for a daughter who had lost sight of her beauty.

Don’t you forget it either. Remember where you come from, who made you, and remember that YOU -your body, your soul, your very person -is one of the most intricate and beautiful creations in the universe.

Do not forget it.
You don’t want to be the victim of The Sam’s Club Creeper. Truuust me.


  1. Stephanie says:

    This made me tear up, I’m sure that lady needed to hear that!! I feel like women get so busy with their children, cooking, cleaning and everything else we have to do and we forget that we are beautiful and we are important. I think that is AWESOME that you told her that!!

  2. Charlsye Miller says:

    Way to follow through on your prompting. I’m sure it made her day and made her feel so much better. You are much braver than I am and I look up to you for it!

  3. Thank you for sharing that. I will confess that I have been able to exist for YEARS on a compliment that I got while out with my family, an older couple were looking my way and the woman said, “I just have to tell you, you are very beautiful” Maybe she learned the same lesson while wrangling her own little ones, and passed it on to me. Your Sam’s club shopper will never be the same.

  4. Good for you for being courageous! I’m afraid in the same situation I might not be as brave. Definitely made me tear up. Most of us don’t ever hear that (except from our husbands and our sweet babies; but not everyone is even that lucky!) once “real life” starts.

  5. I read all your posts on Google Reader but this one totally got me teary eyed. I’ve been there, more or less, and I know Heavenly Father was using you to help her that day. How amazing that you did that. I probably would have been too scared.

  6. I love you Alicia. Thanks. I did need that today.


  1. […] and insightful just because that’s the way she is. Earlier this week she wrote a blog called The Sam’s Club Creeper which was completely […]

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