Saturday, December 17, 2011

life's too short to be rude

it's been a busy day. carpet cleaner here at 9. wrapping presents til noon, making two batches of rolls, rolling them out, getting ready to bake them. (though there was a short time for 'reading' aka 'nap', this day has been spent on my feet or leaning over a giant box trying to get the paper corners square. 

then there was a trip to the store, to gather what i need for cookies for a swap next week, finish rolling out the rolls for a party tonight, start thinking about when the Princess and her Pea come in next week.

the greeting met me as i rolled my cart up to the checkout: "happy holidays to you!" said the jolly clerk. "are you ready for Christmas?" 

 you're awfully jolly tonight i told her as i checked off my list of what was yet to do. 

"life's too short to be rude," she said, and then her dialogue began. she was almost ready for Christmas, but didn't go to the mall — no parking spaces there — i listened, finding myself smiling as i put my bags in the cart.

how often have i walked into my neighborhood grocery store hoping i don't see anyone i know because i'm in a hurry. and i move the cart around, dropping what i need into it for supper, leave, rushing to the next thing and the next, face in full frown thinking of what i have yet to do.

too often i am rude to people around me. don't have time for their stories, think i am so busy, especially this time of year, that i forget that there are those out there in the world, like this clerk, who are not too busy for me.

tonight i left the store with a smile, i felt it growing where too lately a frown has become etched. i thought about the clerk: had she just begun her shift? (so she wasn't tired like me.) did she have shopping to do when she was off from work? would the world out there greet her as nicely as she had me? was her life at home as good as my own?

i thought about the people coming through the line behind me. would she shift their daily attitude as she had mine? will i pay her emotions forward as i meet my neighbors at the party later? at church tomorrow? i hope so.

at home, with rising rolls yet to be placed in the oven, i am thankful, that her good spirits spread over me like the hot butter melting into my rolls.

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