I went to Aldi today to do the weekly food shopping and I went alone for once. I usually take at least one of the girls with me because Aldi is one of those bag-and-tote-it-yerself places and it's always nice to have an extra set of hands when you're sacking it all up and stowing it away in the car. But today I was on my own, which means I am free to enter into conversations with total strangers, a character trait which the girls discourage, my mother completely understands and my brother finds utterly reprehensible.
"I suppose you're one of those people who talks to people in line at Disney World and the movie theater and in the waiting area of the Outback," he said superciliously.
"Oh, yes," I replied. "I am particularly friendly at the Outback because I'm usually working on a Foster's draft."
I wasn't drinking a beer at Aldi when I was standing in line with my shopping cart full of groceries, but I struck up a little conversation with the elderly man behind me who was holding a gallon of milk in each hand.
"Why don't you go in line ahead of me?" I asked. "Your hands are going to get really cold standing there holding that milk and I've got an awful lot of stuff in this cart."
"Why thanks!" he said, smiling and nodding his head affably. "My hands were already kind of cold and I'd just got to the line."
He went up ahead of me and we chatted about the deliciousness of the Aldi brand green tea as compared to the way more expensive Bigelow and Lipton brands. When he was ready to leave, he turned and called out, "Thanks again, ma'am!"
It was kind of odd being called "ma'am" by someone who was clearly old enough to be my grandpa, but I smiled and said, "You're welcome."
Evidently it struck him the same way because he went toward the automatic doors, but paused and turned back around. "Ordinarily, I would have called you honey," he said apologetically, "but my granddaughters tell me I'm not supposed to do that anymore."
The cashier and I both giggled. "You can call me honey anytime you want to, honey," I said generously.
"Me, too," offered the cashier.
"Aw, it's just a good old world, isn't it?" he asked engagingly, and left with his milk.
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