So yesterday I was at Walmart, doing the usual pickingupafewthings and thanking my stars that I’ve managed to pick up so few items that I qualify for the express line and landed behind just 2 people. That’s a miracle in itself at 6 in the evening.
This lane happened to be the tobacco lane. The counter-lady was a soft-spoken middle-aged Oriental who spoke with a heavy accent.
The guy ahead of me was wrapping up and he said
“1 pack of marlboro lights please”
“wat yaur dateobirth?”
“April 20th 1984”
Obviously I messed with the date, though the year’s intact and am thinking in my head, ah a nice 23 year old. He reminded me so much of this guy in Criminal Minds. Not as nerdily dressed, but swank with a baseball cap and well, well-built. He looked up at me and smiled. So I politely smile back and wish the lady would hurry up as I was starving by then.
“oooo nice day far birthday”
“o yeah? how come?”
“mye birthday too, April 20th” – ..and as an afterthought she adds
“but I muchh older than you”
“o no wayy” He smiles and winks at me.
“yesyes, me much older, you baby” she’s laughing and shaking her head at herself in the reflection of the shiny new spade he’d picked up.
” You don’t look a day older than 23 you know” – and this he says with such ernesty in his voice, and grinning good-naturedly.
“o no no no” – she’s grown a nice shade of bubblegum pink by then as she waves him off
There was a whole feel-good aura by then. It was a nice minute’s break of niceness in the cramped everyday bustle of life. It felt good seeing her tired wrinkled face break into a smile so genuine that her already small crinkly eyes were just mere black slits. The young man was not being funny, he wasn’t there with an intention to make her day, nor was he taunting or teasing her, but just by being a good-natured spirited human he not only made her day but he left a faint ripple of hope and happiness in the surrounding 5 feet of physical space.
He was a poster child for good breed, respect and class and surely though I was in no way related to him, I felt a teeny bit of pride with a dash of humility that young men of such caliber still exist.