I am not known to be outgoing, gregarious or even talkative. When I'm out in public I beeline my way through stores, have a list and keep my eyes on it. Have a plan and stick to it. If I'm at a mall I do a fast run through the stores and then double back to second check or get what caught my eye. Employees at the grocery greeting me every time I turn a corner make me nervous. If I'm asked if I need help 9 out of 10 I say no, even if I do. If I pause, if I look up, something happens. Once it does I'm Ok and I go along with it, it can be very fascinating. I never really thought about it until the kids got old enough to notice and remark on it.
"Mom, How come every time we go somewhere, someone tells you their life story?"It's true.
I let a pregnant woman cut in line and she proceeds to tell me the whole story of why she is exchanging shower gifts.... and she is due .....and her doctor said.....but her mom said......
Buying clothes for the girls. Littlest is being a picky pain in the butt. The woman straightening the racks says
" Oh buying for teenagers" And tells me the history of all six of her kids and what they were like as teenagers and This one was difficult....that one is adopted.....used to sew for them.....which one wouldn't wear it.....
Buying swimsuits another sales woman starts on how difficult they can be to fit and continues on through to a story about her co workers ....someone forgetting to lock up ....and at her last job...... but at this one....and ten years ago.......
I'm standing in the deli line. I am focusing sharply on the meat in the glass case like it is a life or death situation because the woman next to me is restless. She finally comes very close to me, looks down and says "I like your toenail polish". Ok, I have to look up. "Oh thank you" (polite smile). She then launches into the story of the work event she volunteered to cater and how much work it has been but the others really wanted her to handle it because the last time she......and for her neice...... and she hopes that.....because next time....
Wearing the same polish on my toes, I was in a store concentrating on socks when this big bald guy wandered over to the same area and browsed along side me for a few moments before he looked down, stopped and said "You have nice feet". Ok, don't look up. Mumble, ...um thanks.... and flee!
Yeah, just a little creepy.
Don't even get me started on what happens in doctor or hospital waiting rooms.
Recently, I was heading to the door of the pharmacy. The prescription was in my hand. Usually I would drive through but they were having a sale. I was mapping out my concentration on the skin care section followed by cosmetics if it looked safe, to keep me busy while I waited. On the sidewalk outside stood a man, probably in his late 50's, with long gray hair in a pony tail. He was wearing jean shorts and sandals. He kind of looked like a hippi Grandpa. He was digging through a photo envelope and as I approached pulled one out and held it up to look at it closely. When I was passing him I glanced up quickly so I wouldn't run into him. He was looking at me so a gave a quick upturned ends smile and started to pass.
And then he said
"Do you want to see something nice?"Uh Oh. What on earth does he have there. Should I ignore him and walk quickly into the store to get away? Is this another creeper? Why me? I'm wearing closed toe shoes.
But....He looked nice. And benevolent. I said "what is it"? And stopped to look.
It was orchids. Hanging in a pot. Isn't that beautiful, he asked? He told me he had been growing orchids for 13 years. He told me the history of this particular orchid and how long it was before it bloomed and how many blooms it had the last couple years.And this was the most blooms ever.
"Yes, it was an absolutely beautiful orchid, they are hard to grow and take care of, you must put a lot of time and care into it. "
Yes he did.
"Thank you for sharing it with me."
He beamed, pleased with the appreciation.
It was a very beautiful orchid. I'm glad I got to see it. One second of looking up and smiling resulted in an exchange that lifted 2 mundane trips to the pharmacy to pick something up into a small enrichment of lives.
If we forget to look up and look around and smile sometimes, what might we be missing?
If we remember to do this more often what will we have found?
Maybe some kindness, giving or receiving it will lift your day.
You never know, it could be some really awesome magical toenail polish. MILANI Toe-Matoe Red if you want to try it and see what happens : )
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