There's a couple who come into the store pretty regularly. He's funny, she's funny, I'm funny, so we generally exchange wise cracks and share a good laugh. I get a kick out of both of them.
Anyway, Tim and I were in the Walmart. We're talking, and I happen to see this couple. I said, "Gees. I cannot get away from you. You're everywhere!" And just as quick as a wink, the fellow says right back, "I wasn't sure whether I was allowed to speak to you in public or not. Your husband knows about us?" and he made a motion with his finger pointing to himself and then me, a couple times for emphasis.
I do have to say, I am seldom at a loss for words. I didn't have a clue how to answer that one, and his wife stood laughing her self silly at the produce section. I haven't a clue about Tim's face. I was gaping.
I finally got my speech back, and uttered some lame comment about "Oh, great, now I'll be the talk of the neighborhood!!!" That's always a danger in the Walmart, too, some gossip hanging around hears something like that, you're the pariah of the county quicker than you can blink your eye. I don't really give a crap, because to be perfectly frank, I'm getting quite used to being the pariah. I mean, gees, I've got family.
I was back at the register yesterday, ringing up a customer, and blabbing like I do, and I turned to hang up my scanner, and there he was leaning on the little partition. I jumped, because he scared the mess out of me.
"I'm supposed to apologize to you," he said.
"Why's that?" I asked. I'd forgotten the great Walmart exchange. Shoot. It was like a couple weeks ago. I have a mind like a sieve.
"For embarrassing you. I hope your husband wasn't mad." He had a very sincere look on his bearded face. His wife stood there with her arms folded.
I laughed out loud at her stern look. "No," I said. "You did not cause any problem. My husband and I have been married a lot of years. He knows me well enough to know that I would never, and I wouldn't either. He's a good man, and I would never shame him. You didn't cause a problem."
His wife came over. "I nearly died," she said. "Your husband looked so surprised. I was very relieved when he finally grinned."
I laughed at the two of them, and loved them too. Most people don't care about other people enough to even give a second thought to something like that. To stop and consider whether they'd given offense, or caused an argument or whatever, well, it means that they think something of you. I was very touched.
"Don't give it a second thought. In fact, just to show you there's no hard feelings, here you go." I reached into my apron pocket and gave them a Friends and Family coupon. "You come on back on December 5th, and you'll get my employee discount for the night."
They were very pleased with that and thanked me. I looked over at the husband and said, "Yeah, don't be getting the idea that I'm going to claim I know you all the time, but for this one day only, I'll admit it." And once more, we all laughed together, and away they went.
I love the people I meet at my job. Really. Salt of the earth.