Have you ever run to the store for just a couple things, maybe just one thing? How often do you get in and out without a few more items jumping into your cart? Or maybe those quick trips get derailed by the distractions of clever marketing or running into friends. Or maybe it’s just me.
I’m a natural people watcher and occasionally find myself wondering it the items a customer is setting on the cashier’s belt were what they came to the store for or not.
Most recently it was the gentleman at Costco with pork loin and popcorn. If he’d been in my line I probably would have asked him, but he wasn’t. Instead I wondered if his pregnant wife wanted popcorn and he thought pork sounded good for dinner. Or if he came in for the pork (maybe there’s a luau in his future?) and the salted caramel sample got the best of him. Whether one, the other, or maybe both were on his list – I’ll just never know!
I know it’s none of my business and that making small talk can sometimes get me in trouble – like the time I asked the cashier how she got the cast on her arm only to hear about her getting hit by a drunk driver at nine o’clock in the morning. Oops. But, I think curiosity, imagination, and small talk are normally fantastic things that should be fostered.
I post questions to my kids about why they think the guy in the suit is at the mall or what the woman with the festive earrings is doing after she gets done running the track. Jace usually rolls his eyes at me, and that’s ok. But the other two still get into guessing about what could be going on in someone else’s world!
And I do strike up conversations with folks that I know nothing about. Don’t surprised if I answer your rhetorical question or comment on how adorable your baby sling is – seriously Pac Man! Who wouldn’t comment!? I might simply share a smile that hopefully brightens your day or let you know that your kids did something nice without expecting praise. Or I might ask you what the occasion is that has you buying flowers. Who knows. Maybe I’ll just keep to myself and wonder.
What brings someone to a big warehouse store for pork loin and popcorn? Huh.