People Watching

Let me tell you about a couple of folks I met on my last trip to the city. As usual, while hustling through my shopping, I kept my eye out for interesting people. Now, they are not hard to find; if you look close everybody is interesting in one way or another.
The first one to truly catch my eye was walking toward me in a shopping mall. It was early, so most of the hurried and stressed out people I saw were on their way to work. I know that look; I wore it for too many years.  Suddenly there she was, a small woman with long silvery hair flowing freely down over her shoulders, her posture erect, her head held high, a dazzling smile on her face, and the sexiest pair of kick ass boots on her feet that I have seen in a long time.
As we neared I remarked on her smile as well as her boots. She graced me with that smile and told me she wore those boots every time she needed a boost to her day. They always make her feel like a million. I said she looked like a million and we chatted for a moment or two before going our separate ways. This lady had sure given my day a bright lift and I was determined to pass that along the first chance I got.
I got my chance a few hours later as I was leaving the grocery store. Standing in the check-out line, I was people watching once again. (surprise) The guy ahead of me caught my attention. This man was a bit scary because he had no emotion at all. He was stone cold. The checkout girl was drop dead gorgeous and as cheerful as you can get. I settled back to watch her melt the guy down, but it didn’t happen.
He wasn’t rude or anything, but he ignored her completely, paid with his debit card, and when she wished him a nice day he just turned his back and walked away. He was a good looking young fellow, and she had tried to get a response from him, but nothing, not a gig. I watched as her confidence fell, her attempts to engage him faltered, her shoulders slumped and her voice fell silent. She was shattered. I could have kissed the guy.
As I stepped forward she gave me a barely audible, “Hi, how are you today?” she did not make eye contact.
“I’m just fine, Gorgeous, thanks for asking. Don’t pay any attention at all to that grumpy bugger ahead of me, he just needs an enema to loosen him up a bit.”
“What??? You mean the guy I just served?” She turned to watch him walk through the big doors.
“Yep, that guy, besides, he’s gay.”
“You know him?”
“Nope.”
“Then what makes you think he is gay?”
“Listen, Honey, if you couldn’t get his attention, he’s either dead or gay. Since he walked away, there is only one option.”
“You really think so?”
“Convinced of it, what other explanation could there be?”
I had the Reiki turned on full blast and she was smiling again, her confidence returning swiftly. By the time I paid my bill she was back to her cheerful self. She wished me a great day then turned the charm on the next person in line. I heard them laughing together as I walked away.
“Atta girl,” I thought as I walked through the big doors, “see how many people you can make smile today.” I’m sure there were many smiling people that day because a young and beautiful person did her best to cheer them up. I hope she keeps that attitude as she ages so one day she will be the smiling silver haired woman in the kick ass boots still making folks smile.
So, have you brought a smile to a stranger’s face today? Yes? Tell me. No? Well get to it.

13 thoughts on “People Watching”

  1. shannonshannon

    What a gift…to make a stranger feel good about themselves and the world! You rock, Prudence!

  2. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    I like to people watch too, but your story takes it to a new level of awesomeness! Hopefully I will remember this story the next time I come across a grumpy bugger—or find myself behaving like one!

  3. Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen SchmidtPatricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Well Prudence, I don't think I've brighened anyone's day yet with a smile, but then again I haven't encountered anyone except my sleeping husband and my dog as I scurried off to work. I'll try to make the next person I meet smile though. I'm here by myself and not expecting any clients but perhaps I'll run into the mail man.

    Your post made me smile though. Thanks for sharing and reminding us how much a simple gesture and mean to a stranger.

    Keep smiling!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/as Jansen Schmidt

  4. Sara Walpert FosterSara Walpert Foster

    You gave that girl exactly what she needed. Clearly you don't need kick-ass boots, although I hope you have a pair.

    Thanks for lifting my spirits as well. When I finally get out of the house, I'll be thinking of how I can do the same for somebody else.

  5. Pat O'Dea RosenPat O'Dea Rosen

    I love your people-watching posts, Prudence. In this one, though, you're an action figure. Maybe someone at the back of that grocery check-out line has written a post about watching you restore the clerk's good spirits.

  6. theparanormalisttheparanormalist

    I love that you noticed these things unfolding around you, that you did something to make TWO people happy AND that you wrote about it so skillfully. (Which made me happy.) Well done.

  7. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    i love people watching, too. I love to go to the Calgary Stampede and sit in the middle of the crowds and watch. sometimes i make notes, but mostly I watch. but i don't usually turn on the energy to change outcomes. interesting thought.

  8. Emma BurcartEmma Burcart

    What a great story! I love when I can cheer somebody up with a nice word or a smile, and I appreciate when others do it for me. It makes me think that we need to be more aware of how our attitude effects others. We don't need to go around dropping doom and gloom on everyone we meet, no matter how crummy we feel. I'm glad you made her day!

  9. augustmclaughlinaugustmclaughlin

    You are such a brilliant observer, Prudence! I daydream so much, I
    surely miss out on many make-others-smile moments. Then again, I
    did get caught singing (thought I was singing in my head) and triggered giggles
    today… Does that count? 😉

  10. debrakristidebrakristi

    That is a beautiful story Prudence. You made me smile. You did such a wonderful thing for her. So glad you did. You have fabulous people watching skills. I love to people watch, but can sometimes miss out on the most obvious as I too am prone to daydreaming from time to time. (Bites lip here) I don't get out as much so I don't get that many opportunities, but I did make the computer repair guy laugh today if that counts.

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