Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Little Extra When I Needed It

I didn't want to but I did it anyway. The car needed new brake lights. Can't drive around without those. I'd be looking in the rearview mirror, waiting for the big one. Why chance fate? So, after church, I made the rounds; Earth Fare, Kroger, Tires Plus.

Rich cradled the phone and his hand to the sides of his head like he had a migraine. The source of his pain was on the phone arguing about the cost of tires. The hand was there to keep it all together. His voice was monotone. The other end didn't want to pay more for the tires than she had paid last summer. Rich gave the hard sell with the soft edge as only he can. I've been on the receiving end of his schmooz. I knew the caller would lose. "So when are you coming in?" I'll be here.

Next, he had a "Happy New Year " for me and I told him about the brake lights and asked about his wife. The last time I was in, he was nervous. She was having a mammogram redone after a spot showed up on the x-rays. He said everything was fine. I didn't ask him about his daughter; another source of angst, but I silently hoped she had stoppped giving him so much trouble. Conversation drifted to the time we first me. He remembered I was upset because the mechanic took so long fixing whatever was wrong with my car. "You were mad and you said you'd put me on your blog." I apologised, somewhat embarrased because I've changed lately. I told him I have a new respect for people who wait on others from behind a counter. People are impatient and terminally selfish. I told him I see it every night when I'm moonlighting at the store. I mentioned the old lady who told me to kiss her ass and called me uppity. We laughed and then he said, "You know I love you." He always says that. He has no idea how seldom if ever I hear those words.

I wish there were more people like him. We are as different as night and day but there is a respect that flows between us. He's a hardworking, truck driving, middle aged, white male. His politics and mine are like oil and water but there's that respect. He knows we share the same core values and like him I work hard. It's enough to make us friends. More and more, I wonder why we can't recognize the common ground we share and respect each other. It seems a national disaster is the only thing that makes us take notice of one another. That old song about people needing people is corny but true. We ARE all just children inside, letting pride stand in the way. Have you told anyone today, "I love you?"

I love you too Rich, and thanks! Now I know what the "Plus" stands for in the store's name; a little extra caring and it goes a long way.


At 3:55 PM , Blogger jadedmuse said...

This was beautiful. Thank you.


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