…condensed in a Starbucks on a rainy Friday evening:
I let a lot of horrible, rude and general people unfriendliness roll right off of my shoulders. Call it thick skin, call it ‘ignorance is bliss’, or just call it a general sense of not caring for those that don’t care–I was merely admiring, from afar, the multitude of delicious drinkables on Starbuck’s vertically suspended menu when a voice from a considerably short distance hisses out to me, “You’re in my personal space. Please move away.”
OH! “Personal space?”, I thought to myself as I almost instinctively bolted a foot away, as if avoiding the inevitable bite and venom that accompanied such a sharp and hateful hiss. Without so much of a “Thanks”, the seated figure turns and scoffs. “Well, excuse me Mr. Studious”, I thought to of saying. Instead, I smiled and balanced on a fine line of sarcasm and nonchalant by saying, “Whoops (yes, I said whoops out loud), sorry.” And turned around.
That should have been good enough, I thought. I thought wrong. Not only was Mr. Studious a personal bubble kind of guy, he was also the ‘I-get-the-last-word’ kind of guy. “No problem, just thought you should know, you were too close, my space that is, trying to study…” –HAH! In my head, I had a waterfall of sound traverse my neural cavities–a range that included guffaws, chuckles, bellowing, hooting and hollering. And at the end of of that, as an exclamation mark in my head, I thought,
“Buddy…you’re in a STARBUCKS. A small one at that! –get off of your high horse and re-imagine your personal space will ya?”
But nope…I just continued smiling and proceeded to meet the barista to get started on my evening’s drinkable delight. And if by some kinda of twist of Karmatic fate, the Barista kept complimenting me! Er…strange. In many cases, I find Barista’s questions and responses to be robotic and almost a development of their routine banter that comes close to being unoriginal but remains still, a pleasant audible treat. In any event, she would interject, through what I find routine questions, with comments that tickled my fancy (and I like when my fancy gets tickled).
“Nice hat, I really like. Looks good on you.” Compliment #1
“The pea coat really adds a nice accent to your frame.” Compliment #2 (Thank the weather)
“Ryan? That’s a nice name!” Compliment #3 (Is it really?)
“Have a nice night.” Not really a compliment but I feel like I should add that.
So–in a spam of, oh I don’t know, ten minutes, I run into Mr. Studious to Ms. Super Perky (her name was Judy). And in that ten minutes I feel like I was just subjected to the spectrum of Cultural flora–thorn and rose, all in one. Take it or, well, you very well can’t leave it…so, take it with the best of who you are.
To the both of them, Merry Christmas!