I’m sure we are all familiar with the grocery store in the late afternoon. You know what I mean, long lines and only two registers open. And is it just me, or does there always seem to be someone new, and still in training, on one of them?
Sometimes when I’m standing in one of those lines I notice that the person in front of me is slowly becoming frustrated, as we all do. My husband usually gives me the "please don’t" look, and I simply smile as my reply.
Situations like this often end up with my husband's being slightly embarrassed by his strange wife who suddenly strikes up conversation with the anxious person in front her. What can I say? I’m talkative. He’s not. Chances are if you have been in a long line before and a dark haired Yankee girl started taking to you, it was I.
I was raised as an "army brat." As a result, I spent the majority of my life moving. When you’re a kid in a situation such as that, you have two options. You’re either going to be shy and quiet, keeping to yourself. You don’t want to run the risk of making new friends because you know that you’re just going to have tell them goodbye soon. Or you're talkative, friendly and overly outgoing. You do everything you can to make friends as quickly as possible before you have to move again.
I’m most definitely not the shy one. The only time you’re going to find my mouth closed is at night, but even then I’ve been told I snore. (I don’t believe it though, just because the whole maternity ward accuses me of it doesn’t mean it’s true.)
Now I don’t need to hurry up and make friends. I hope I've found what will be my home, but that fact hasn’t slowed me down any. You see, I have found that there are people out there that are more than happy to find someone like me.
Just the other day I was sitting in Wal-Mart, eating lunch with my best friend, when an elderly man walked by us. He looked down at our babies and told us, of course, that they were beautiful. Granted, he was telling me something I already knew, but I still thanked him.
The gentleman sat down at the table beside us and began a conversation with me. About 15 minutes went by, and I told the man goodbye. On the way out, my friend looked over at me and smiled. She wasn’t the least bit embarrassed by what I did; the conversation did her heart just as much good as it did mine and his.
I hope I never see the day where I am too busy or too embarrassed to talk to someone I don’t know. The world is getting cold enough as it is. I don’t want to add to it. I’ve made so many friends and have had so many wonderful conversations. I’ve received more blessings than I can count and have put smiles on many faces.
One day, sadly, I might be that person who goes to the grocery store to buy one little piece of fruit, but spends hours walking around talking to people. I can only hope that there will be people like me who will give me a small piece of their time.
The next time you’re at the playground and there’s a mother standing there by herself, take a good look at her. That person could be you’re next best friend, or someone with a blessing from the Lord for you. It could be a cousin you never met or a person in need of your company. If nothing else, she’s just someone to share time with.
You’ll find that life will provide you with more smiles if you’re willing to find them. Sometimes you’ll find them in the most unexpected places, like the grocery store line.
Tanya Nave, who lives in Kensington, is a wife, mother and writer. She can be reached at email@example.com