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I strolled through the sliding glass doors of the neighborhood Publix supermarket at 6:00 PM on Monday after a particularly long day of work.
Grocery shopping is low-key one of my favorite errands. I love food, I love the smells, and I love getting sweet deals on stuff I enjoy. It’s normally a great time, but that night I just wasn’t into it.
I looked like a bum. Felt like one too. This wasn’t one of those waltz-around, hour-long frolics through the grocery store. No sir. This was a get dinner, get out ASAP kind of scenario.
I zipped past the shopping carts and made a beeline for the baskets. In my head, I repeated to myself, “Rotisserie chicken, sweet potatoes, frozen greens.” I grabbed the chicken then cut back to the fruits and veggies section where I was met by a tall, mid-twenties-looking guy who stopped in front of me and exclaimed:
“You look like an athlete!”
…wasn’t expecting that.
“Oh, uh, thanks,” I replied.
Then he asked, “What sport do you play?”
“I haven’t really played many sports since college but I used to play a lot of basketball and baseball.”
Him: “Ah wow I used to play college ball up in New York. I got my computer science degree and now I run a few websites that have been doing well.”
We talked for a solid 5 minutes. He apparently just moved down to the area and wanted a friendly chat I guess. We talked about basketball, school, work, family. The conversation flowed effortlessly. He managed to hit me with so many compliments I would’ve bet my life that he was going to sell me something. He never did.
When the time felt right, he said, “Well hey, I hope to see you around.”
“Yeah for sure, you too.”
And just like that, we parted ways.
My miserable night of grocery shopping turned upside-down in a matter of minutes. I felt so good inside I forgot where I was. Ended up spending the next 30 minutes meandering around the store, shopping the deals, floating on Cloud 9.
Where I saw a bum, he saw an athlete. Sometimes one friendly conversation can change your whole mood. Thanks Terrance, you the man.
Nicest dude ever.