I have a few hours before my PT appointment, so I’m killing time at Caribou, sipping a cup of the latest Fair Trade offering. While I didn’t have blogging on my mind when I pulled into my parking space, something happened which changed my focus.
I parked the Jetta and got out, then opened the back driver’s side door to retrieve my laptop case, the man who’d pulled into the spot next to mine got out of his car. He said hello. I replied in kind and turned to walk toward Caribou.
“Volkswagen,” he said. I thought I detected a hint of a German accent, so didn’t find his observation odd.
I replied, “Yes, just got it.”
Hmmm, this was turning into a strange conversation as we walked toward the small strip mall.
“Oh…”, I said, not sure what to say.
“1997”, he said, matter-of-factly.
“1994”, I volunteered.
“Standard. Mine’s standard.”
I told him mine was automatic, and I kind of missed driving a standard.
At this point, he detoured to enter Great Clips, just next door. I was relieved, imagining him sitting down in the leather chair next to mine and continuing to regale me with car observations in the form of quick factoids.
This all very fresh in my mind, I recounted the conversation to the team members behind the counter. I said he wasn’t a creepy guy, just very awkward. So odd and out of the blue was the exchange, I didn’t know quite what to think. It didn’t seem like a pick-up line, though I’ve always been such a man magnet. *yeah right, wink* I hypothesized aloud that he could be a very shy person who’s resolved to talk to so many strangers a day to get him used to making conversations. All this still mulling around in my brain, I sat down to write this blog entry while all of this was fresh.
Evidently done with his haircut, Mr. Chevy came into the store and ordered a drink at the counter. I heard him talking to the employees, but didn’t hear the details. They were saying how nice it was to hear whatever it was he said.
When he left, I told them that was the guy I’d told them about. They could understand what I meant, because he was awkward in his conversation with them, too. He told them he drives out of his way to come here because he really likes Caribou’s drinks. He drives an hour to work and makes a point of stopping at this store. That’s what they thought was nice.
As he left, he said, “God bless you.”
When they replied in kind, he said, “He already has.”
The more I think about it, the more I see how our everyday kindnesses to others reap a sweet harvest in others’ lives. Like I told the crew here, I didn’t get the gross creepy guy vibe, but rather realized he was a socially-backward fellow trying to connect with people. Who can fault that?
I have to say, also, that I am so pleased and proud to be a Caribou team member when I see fellow Bou people treat people with kindness like they all did this guy. People like him are probably brushed off by others often. When I see people acting this way toward someone like him, it does my heart good.