Shopping has become a battleground…sometimes civil and at times confrontational. Thankfully I have not encountered the latter in my town. But what I have seen is way too much grimness. People averting eyes from other shoppers. Eyeballing other peoples’ carts to see what they have. No smiling. We have become a nation of sour faced mannikins.
Today’s positive thought: how about starting up a conversation with a stranger while waiting in one of those endless lines waiting to get into a store or for checkout? It’s the neighborly thing to do.
Keep that safe social distance – positive thought about shopping carts: they are just the right size to give you at least six feet of safety. Two feet from the front of the cart to the person in front of you, four feet of cart and then a few feet from you to the cart behind you.
So, while you’re in line rather than trying not to see anyone else, how about saying hi to people. Ask how they’re doing. Make small talk. You don’t have to give away anything personal. Talk about the weather. How you miss socializing but are doing okay. Tips for getting by without essentials or where to find some of those “always out of stock” items. Make someone’s day by being neighborly.
This morning while waiting in line to check, out my husband decided to wander off for a few things he forgot. And knowing him, I let a few carts move in front of me so they wouldn’t have to wait for his return. While bagging my stuff I started up a conversation with the young man I’d let in front of me who had a cart absolutely overflowing with food. A case of tomatoes. Twenty-pound bag of carrots. And yes, internally I was wondering, “why so much?” He grinned and told me he was shopping for two families. I mentioned there were only the two of us since the girls left home and scattered all over the world. He laughed and said that his dad would never let him move more than 100 miles away and that he loved his family so much. That little bit of talk satisfied my need to reach out. That, and the combination of getting to move two spaces ahead in line and have a friendly conversation, had him pushing his cart away and saying goodbye with a big smile.
Now you try it.
It’s the neighborly thing to do.
Cyndy Green has been intrigued by news since she got a toy printing press as a six year old. She switched to visual story telling at the age of 12 with her first still camera and moved to broadcasting after an internship in 1974. After 28 years in broadcast news and another 8 teaching broadcasting, she still can’t live without a camera in hand and an editing computer nearby, so in retirement she continues creating visual stories.