Along with my wonderful conversation I had with Charlie in my previous post...Ive had so many funny, exciting, and just plain eye opening conversations with customers....both regular and those that are just passing through. I try and keep some paper nearby just so I can write down some witty sayings or interesting observations but invariably forget it at work and it gets thrown away. I will try harder to keep track of them as they are definitely worthy of a book some day..LOL.
A recent conversation I had with one of my regular elderly customers had me laughing and joking but also made me stop and think about how we tend to judge someone quickly based only on looks...without knowing a single thing about what makes them tick.
Take Oliver for instance....
Oliver looks to be in his 70's, almost always wear a white t-shirt with a pair of denim bib overalls (which reminds me a great deal of my grandfather) and has a quaint air about him that is very gentlemanly and proper. He has a wonderful smile as well with just a touch of an accent that is very northern. He is a joy to converse with when time permits...and a few nights ago time permitted..our conversation when something like this.
Now when I first had a chance to have a proper conversation with him we delved into such things as philosophy, the death penalty, world events etc...and he has wonderful points of view...varied and not what you would expect...or at least not what I expected. So when our recent conversation took a twist...I was both surprised...and not...by his thoughts on the subject.
We started talking about "trying something new" in order to keep things and life interesting. The mundane and ordinary just made life boring and not worth the effort...so says Oliver...and a lot of other people I'm sure. So, when he asked me what was I willing to try that was new and different from my "norm"...I seriously tried to shock him with this..."well, Oliver, I was thinking of giving the gay lifestyle a try"....and waited for the condemnation. The older generation tend to not "swing that way" for the most part...another assumption that was about to be shattered.
Oliver got very thoughtful for a minute then looked at me straight in the eye and said something that I will remember years from now when so many other things about working at that store will be forgotten. He said..."when it comes to love we surely can't choose whom we love...so who are we to judge when people find love whether we agree with it or not?" While I took that wonderful statement in he hit me with another one...
He told me that he had served in the military and that while he had never "swung that way" (loved that he used that phrase) he said there was this one soldier that always "took his breath away" whenever he saw him. The faraway look in his eye and the softening of his voice told me that he was experiencing that "breathless state" once again...no doubt many decades later.
I was amazed by the passionate tone of his voice and by the fact that I had misjudged him obviously...assuming something about his beliefs and what he accepted as "life" and what was an "abomination" according to some. How refreshing to have my assumptions shattered.
He left me with a parting thought...he told me since we can't choose whom we love...when love chooses us we should grab it with both hands...cause it is so hard to find. I was in a fantastic mood for the rest of the night despite my sore feet and unending line of secret alcoholics clamoring for more.
The next night I was off but my co-worker told me he came in again and asked about me. Apparently the conversation had left a mark on him too...he asked my co-worker if I was busy "trying something new yet"...LOL...she said give me some time...knowing me it wouldn't be long. (she was joking ...I think)
Then again...he came in last night and we discussed how kids these days need a good beating as they are so "pansy assed" and "coddled" from the assumption that "every ones a winner"....he suggested the "switch make a comeback" as a form of punishment. Something his own father used on him and see how well he turned out...LOL. While I don't agree with physically punishing children (I myself was an abused child) it was interesting to hear his thoughts.
Anyhow, I was chatting with a "chat buddy" back in Jan and I told her that this was my year to be an Instigator...to shake it up...get people agitated...cause mayhem and destruction if possible just to prove my one point...YOU MAY THINK YOU KNOW ME BUT YOU DON'T KNOW ME...I might be 41 but I've still got a few surprises left in me...so you never know Oliver, I just might take you up on your challenge...to try something new...
And here I was thinking college was about as much as I could handle just now...LOL. Stay tuned people for the results of my "try something new" challenge.