I took a number, noting that there were over one hundred numbers before mine. Sitting down, my nerves were already shot. Mostly, I worried that my baby would be hungry (which always needed half-an-hour at minimum) and I’d be stuck in the ladies room feeding him while my turn came and went, then need to haggle (which I hate) to get my missed turn back – if I could even get it back without waiting even longer.
There was nothing else to do but daven.
Barely able to concentrate, I took out my Tehillim and started. After around ten or fifteen minutes, a middle-aged lady in an old-fashioned blonde shaitel came over to me and held up a ticket number in front of my nose.
“I was looking for someone to give this to and I saw you with the baby and thought that maybe you could use it,” she said.
Startled, I replied, “Uh....”
“It’s okay,” she reassured me. “I took this number, but then found out I didn’t need it after all. It’s not stealing. You’re just taking my turn instead of me.”
Now my turn was only five (or something like that) numbers away.
I thanked her profusely and she left.
When I looked around to see to whom I could give my old number, a middle-aged lady with bleached hair and long magenta fingernails lurched forward, saying, “I’ll take your number.” I agreed as she plucked it from between my fingers.
B’chasdei Hashem, my turn came quickly and I completed my task before my baby got hungry. (And since he rarely ever held out even two hours between feedings, this was also a neis.)
And I left the Misrad Hapanim with warm fuzzy feelings toward both my God and my people.