Does the greeting that questions your well being make you cringe? That person passing by ~ that you may or may not know ~ who, perhaps means well, nods with a smile and politely asks,
"How are you?"
Well, I know that it annoys many people, but I have to admit, I am one to ask. I don't ask as a greeting, but as a genuine concern for others. What I really like is when someone answers me with,
"Do you really want to know?"
Well, yeah... That's IS why I asked, and if a moment can be spared in the hustle and bustle long enough for you to tell me, I will be happy to listen. If not, stay in touch. Lord knows I've needed someone to offer an open ear and heart many a time...
So this happened tonight. I had spent a VERY long afternoon and evening shopping with my daughter's, trying to find just the right outfit for Amanda to wear to her junior high concert tomorrow night. Yeah, I said tomorrow. I'm also a self-professed procrastinater... so sue me. ::smile:: Two and a half hours and six stores later, we finally managed to find an outfit that she was semi happy with. We stopped for a quick bite to eat (another fiasco that I won't even get into...) and then headed home. But WAIT. I forgot to buy something to share at our staff Holiday celebration tomorrow ~ food and socks for the swap. So I drop them off and head BACK out yet again... keep in mind that I hadn't been home since 7:30 this morning, and I was BEAT.
So I go to the grocery store first, and I happen to run into someone that I have had, oh, maybe four random conversations with in the time I have known him. Never anything more than a "hello, how are you?" Who was this person, you might ask?
My children's school bus driver.
So we see each other, smile, and say the usual.
"Hi! How are you?" We both say, smiling politely. Then he stopped and turned back to me.
"Do you want to know the truth?" He asked.
"Yes, of course I do. Do YOU?" I dared.
"Well, if you have a moment, let's talk." He suggested...
So we stood there, among the lettuce heads and broccoli spears, spilling our hearts out. He began by telling me how wonderful his life has been since so and so came into his life. That he just can't believe that after all this time (he is in his fifties) that he has found The One. It has been a struggle, he shared, for the last couple of years, and now the fates have finally smiled. As he spoke of his love for her, he had to stop...He was crying.
He asked me if I was okay. Like I said, I dared to ask the same question of him... Did he want to know the truth? At first, I simply smiled. Probably a little too weakly, because I had actually been wiping tears out in the parking lot only moments earlier. He knew. He held his hand out to me and told me that I was so young and beautiful (<cough>) and deserved to find happiness the same way that he had. I was so moved, right there in the produce aisle. Honestly, I was. After a time we simply shook hands and went about our way...
I have friends, I really do. But I have isolated myself from people for far too long, and I have opened up to very few about what is going on in my life. And a virtual stranger touches my heart out of nowhere.
If you build walls around yourself to keep from being hurt than no one worth the stars can get in either. I might need a VERY heavy hammer, but I am bound and determined to break down these walls...
Stay safe, and happy shopping!