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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Short Conversations

When I go on the road, like I did last week, I tend to let my grocery supply run pretty low or completely out before I leave to avoid coming home to a refrigerator full of spoiled goods. I hit the grocery store last night knowing that I needed to buy a ton of things but also hoping to stay under $100.00.

Not an easy task, but possible.

I’m normally not very talkative with store clerks, but I’m better than I used to be. I don’t really consider myself shy any more, but I’m still introverted. The store was dead last night and for some reason I felt like having a conversation so I told the clerk, a woman who is probably in her sixties, that I was hoping to stay under $100.00.

“That worked out well then,” she said. “That’ll be $84.75. I think we’re all in the same boat. I usually keep too much food in my house, but I’ve been cutting back too.”

“Oh yeah?”

“For Easter, I told my kids that if they wanted anything to drink, they needed to bring it,” she said.

“Sounds fair. You supplied the food, right?”

“Yeah. Have a good night.”

“You too.”

The conversation didn’t last long but I enjoyed getting to learn just a little about what went on in someone else’s home during Easter. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t know her and will probably never meet her again. For me, it was the interaction that counted. And it made me wonder about how many other chances to interact with people I’ve missed out on.

Surface-level conversations will never satisfy the way an hour-long conversation with a best friend will, but I think they have more power than we realize.


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