She was ahead of me in the checkout line on her phone and snapping her gum and orders at the cashier, all while looking as if standing there for five minutes was the end of the world. The cashier tried to make small talk, but was dismissed with a brush of this customer’s hand as she swiped her credit card through the reader.
I was annoyed just watching her.
When it was finally my turn to move up, the cashier began with the normal pleasantries as she started to scan up my order. I told her I was good and smiled, but made that little “eyebrows raised while looking at the back of the bitchy lady” face to let her know I felt her pain.
It was lost on her. She continued on with, “I’m great! How can you not be happy? It’s just always nice to talk to nice people.”
Now granted, I know for a fact from past experience that this cashier is a little bit “special,” and I mean no disrespect in that way. But seeing as she also tried to put canned goods on top of my bread, it’s possible she didn’t notice that woman’s rudeness. Maybe she did and she just didn’t care.
It was all a matter of perspective.
The bitchy woman was bitchy regardless, and while the cashier could have taken it personally or let it affect her mood, instead she just kept smiling and doing her job.
As she continued to clumsily bag up my stuff, we continued our conversation about how it doesn’t take much to be nice, how just taking the time to smile can make all the difference in the world.
This stuck with me.
There are moments when I focus on the bitchy woman instead of the smiling cashier, when the one negative thing out of my day will serve as the catalyst for a downward spiral.
I’m getting better with that externally, but I admit that I often see things that happen to other people through some sort of filter that inexplicably doesn’t apply to me. Anything positive is deflected when directed my way, but anything negative—real or perceived—is often absorbed and dwelled on in moments of doubt.
When I’m stuck in my head for whatever reason, I become blind to the simple things that could help pull me out, or at the very least, make me smile.
Not cool, Abby, not cool.
So I suppose it’s a matter of realizing—no, not just realizing, but accepting the fact that (sometimes) I am a good friend, a good writer, etc. and that I do have great friends that care about me, even in those moments when I might not care about myself as much as I should.
Yes, that’s kind of cheesy and I’ll always be more sarcastic and snarky than sappy, but it’s all about those little reminders and perspective. If they can see the good in me with all my quirks and issues, then I want to try and see the good in almost everyone/every situation I face.
Except that bitchy lady. She was seriously rude and gave me the stink eye when she incorrectly assumed I was encroaching on her allotted grocery space. She can go fly a kite.
Anyway, everyone but her and those like her. The point is that kindness can go a long way—not to just other people, but also to yourself. I’m good at the former, and working on the latter.
Each day is a new chance to try.
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