So, today, I woke up, got dressed, & hit the grocery store. Getting up & getting going, first thing, without trying to do something else or “ease my way into it” is kind of a big deal for me. When I try to “ease my way into it,” I wind up never quite getting going. The couch is my best friend. I kid you not.
So, I was patting myself on the back, walking around the grocery store, basket on one arm & my Starbucks grande, triple shot, three-pump hazelnut, two-pump mocha with soy & light whip in my other hand. I had already been through the produce section & was looking for some hot dogs in natural casing, when I heard my name from a few steps away. It was one of my friends that I haven’t seen in several weeks (months? I don’t know; I lose track).
We hugged & said our hellos. . . Then she asked the question that made me cry instantly. In public. Ugh. Embarrassing much?
Okay. So, I guess I don’t even remember the exact question. . . But, really, she asked, “How are you?” (Or was it, “How have you been?” Or was it something else entirely? Ugh. You get the point.) Really? An inquiry into how I am produced instant tears? REALLY??
I don’t think it was just the question. . . I think it was the sincerity in her voice as she asked it. . . & the fact that it caught me so off-guard. I guess I was expecting the same ol’ polite small talk you usually encounter when you run into someone you know at the grocery store, you know?
So, there I am. Tears are streaming down my face faster than I can wipe them away & I am simultaneously trying to back-pedal enough to attempt to explain away my overly emotional state. . .
“Oh, geez. I am so sorry.” Sorry for making things awkward & uncomfortable (for us both, I am sure).
“Things really aren’t that bad.” So convincing as tears are running down my face.
“I am actually the happiest I’ve ever been.” Obviously. As I am crying in the middle of the grocery store, right?
We talked a few moments longer & during that time she assured me she knew exactly what I meant & had felt that way herself too. I don’t know if she meant that is how she currently feels, or if it means she’s just been there before. It doesn’t matter which it was; I was appreciative for the sincerity.
She hugged me goodbye & she went to find her family & I finished my grocery shopping & left.
It is funny how that works, eh? I thought I was fine. . . Then such a seemingly innocent question tips me over the edge.
I don’t get it. I must be doing just enough to keep myself distracted from the dark cloud that seems to always follow me around, regardless of what I do. . .
Either way, I am thankful for friends such as the one I happened to run into at the grocery store today. . .