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I Am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been, Interested in Exchanging Pleasantries


I found myself at the grocery the other day—I know, shocking. I had no grand scheme in mind, I was out of fabric softener, and the all natural brand that I use—which you can only get at a particular type of store—was all I had on my mind. I walked in, with a moderate amount of duty in my stride, and went straight to the cleaning aisle. Fabric softener in hand, I did a quick tour of the facilities, looking at the sales items, snagging a bite of cheese from the sample trays, and ogling the organic halloween candy on display.

I began a debate with myself as if I should actually buy the bag of individually wrapped organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They looked fantastic. My heart said yes, my brain said no. “They're organic! Dark Chocolate! That's good for you!” my heart said. My brain gently reminded me “Uh, yeah, didn't you just fill a bowl full of mini peppermint patties and place them on your desk?” The week in question was a stress filled one, and I came to the conclusion that I deserved some peanut butter cups.

Cups and softener at my side, I went to the check out lanes. Upon reaching the check out section of the store, I noticed a familiar face behind one of the registers. A young lady that I used to spent a great deal of time with about eight years or so ago. Every lane, except her lane, was a little crowded. I like to think that I'm a jolly old soul who does make a modicum amount of effort to keep things civil with the various women that I've encountered over these years, so I made my way towards her lane.

I was midway in my approach when she glanced over and saw me. I was smiling, a smile that I thought indicated “I'm happy to see you, and hope to learn that you are doing well.” Yet as I got closer, and in what seemed to be the flash of a second, she produced a sign that said “Closed. Please use next available lane.” She was in the middle of checking out someone, and I was so surprised by it that I slightly stumbled as I stopped my body from moving towards her lane. She was icily staring ahead at the person she was checking out, and not once did she look again towards my direction.

My joyful mood quickly changed to one of slight bemusement. The rapid fire move on her part to keep from having to interact with me was something I had never encountered before. Sure, there are those on this planet that will go to all costs to avoid seeing me, or even being made aware of my presence, but the sudden reaction movement cause me to pause for a moment and ponder it. That short pause quickly gave way to my desire to be on my merry way, and I went to the lane that was open besides her.


 That particular check out person was more than happy to smile and engage in quick chatter while I bought my cups and softener. The funny thing is, you see, while I was at the “here's your receipt” portion of the transaction, she who denied my cups and softener, quickly motioned on someone to check out in her lane. Receipt in hand, I left the store, drove home, did the laundry, and ate a peanut butter cup.

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