The cashier’s at Trader Joe’s are just so nice. They are always accommodating, usually greet me with joy, and occasionally launch into an extended conversation. In time for birthday week, I was treated to a conversation with one of the latter.
“Hello!” my cashier cheered, when I dropped my basket at his station.
“Hello,” I answered with a grin.
Then he muttered something.
“Sorry?” I asked, puzzled.
“Oh, I was just muttering,” he said, and paused. I was trying to figure out what I’d done wrong, and how to make it up him, when he explained; “I was just saying that you are so young.”
“You look so young.”
“I get that a lot. I’m probably older than you think,” I continued with a smile.
“Paper or plastic?” he asked.
“Actually I brought my own bag,” I said, as I pulled it out. “Hopefully everything will fit.”
He nodded, and began packing up my groceries. “There’s a girl who comes in here, looks 12. She looks so young. Told me she’s 19.”
“It’s my birthday this week,” I told him encouragingly, as though that could account for the apparent age discrepancy which was bothering him.
“How old will you be?” he asked, placated.
That was it. He shook his head vigorously. “That’s young. And you look younger. Really?”
“Yes,” I confirmed. I narrowed my eyes. “You don’t look that old either.”
He chucked, “I’m 52.”
“What? No,” was my amazed response, as I paid the bill.
“Yep,” he said, and handed me my neatly bagged groceries. “Do you want to enter into the raffle, since you brought your own bag?”
“Of course! Maybe it’ll be a birthday win.”
Our conversation completed, and my bags packed, I thanked him.
Then we wished each our good health and youth.
To our special correspondent on her birth day, I’m sure he’d wish the same.