The lady at the checkout looked at me with some kind of interest. Weird. There was nothing interesting about me yesterday. Apart from being (permanently) tall – which, I was sure, wasn’t the reason for her curiosity.
– Are you OK for bags?, she asked, while I was rummaging through my handbag.
Yes, I was. I hate paying pennies for reusable bags, but also I do try to make some contribution to saving the planet by using my own bags.
– I like the colour of your hair!
This is when I looked at her with curiosity. This woman didn’t have to be friendly to me. All she had to do was scan my groceries and take my money. So I appreciated her extra effort to be friendly, smiled at her and pulled my credit card out of my purse. It was one of those lousy days where the last thing you feel like is to talk to strangers.
I, myself, have made other women compliments about their clothes, accessories. Not necessarily because I genuinely liked them, not because I felt generous either. There must have been something about them to prompt me to say something to make them feel good. Or maybe it was an urge to demonstrate that women’s solidarity – which, I must say, no one has actually demonstrated to me.
– I really like it!, she demanded again.
Now, this was unusual.
– What make is it?
This is when she got all my attention. I gleamed and engaged in the conversation fully. She was genuinely interested.
I knew exactly what brand it was, but, somehow taken aback, I couldn’t remember the exact name.
– L’Oreal something… Cream colour… Not sure what it’s called, actually.
– It is an unusual colour, too.
Yes, it was, actually. I bought it in error, mistook it for my regular colour, dark brown. This was called, strangely, ‘ ruby black’. Upon discovery of the mistake, I did feel slightly uneasy, remembering all those horrific stories about hair dye experiments gone wrong. What the hell is ruby black?
It turned out to be a successful experiment after all. Needless to say, no one noticed my new colour. Hubby wouldn’t anyway, but my son (who is usually very observant) didn’t notice the change of shade either. So I completely forgot about it.
And there she was: a complete stranger admiring my hair, being friendly and trying to get as much information about my hair dye as she could. She also wanted to know where I got it from, which made me want to be helpful to her in appreciation of her friendliness. I remembered exactly where I bought it from and how much it was on a special offer.
Walking away from the till, I knew that this was what made my day. I know she will never get to read this post, but, still, I dedicate it to her. The nameless lady at the till who made me feel special on a day when I wasn’t. The woman who made the world seem right again. At least for that evening.
P.S. I was planning to write this post anyway, but it coincided with the topic of our first ‘proper’ assignment in Blogging 101. So here it is, my answer to today’s topic: ‘Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.’