Timing is everything. I wouldn’t have even been in the store, if not for having to take John his phone. He forgot it this morning so I took it to him. I thought I would stop at Dakotamart for a few things before I headed home.
I notice people. It’s just a normal thing for me. He was tall. He had dark hair with gray in it. It was long. He wore faded jeans, no brand. White tennis shoes, maybe New Balance. He wore a dark zip up jacket. As he walked away towards the milk section, I thought to myself that he looked kind of like Hal Ketchum, the country singer who recently passed. That is why I noticed him.
I was perusing the coffee creamers. Califia has a new one. I was excited. Almond milk creamer, mint cocoa flavor. In fact, drinking it now. It’s okay. Everything always looks and sounds better than it tastes. So, there’s that.
I heard a voice and that guy came over towards me. He said, “I’m 68 years old and you could have had a naked lady on your shirt and I wouldn’t have thought twice, but when I saw you had gravy, well…” He laughed, and then I laughed and we both laughed. My sweatshirt was from a virtual 5K. It is a cranberry color for Thanksgiving and has a gravy boat on it and it says “it’s all gravy.” He then started telling me about his mom. He said she has passed, but he said she was the worst cook ever. She overcooked everything and even canned vegetables she boiled to death. He said the shirt reminded him of his mom. He said thanks for helping him remember her today. He walked away.
A minute later he was back again. He told me he was sorry, but he just had to tell me a little more. He had been drafted and he said before he was drafted he thought he was a picky eater. He said when he was in the military though, he ate everything. All the vegetables and all the food. He really wasn’t a picky eater. He decided that his mom was such a terrible cook that he thought he was a picky eater. He laughed again and said how wonderful to be remembering all these things and that he would be thinking of this all day. He left again.
Back again, after about 30 seconds. Now we get to the gravy point. He said for Thanksgiving his mom always had to make a lot of gravy. And he noticed that he and his siblings fought over the dark meat of the turkey because the white was so dry that they couldn’t eat it unless it had a ton of gravy. He again told me that he loved my sweatshirt and that it brought back all these great memories of his mom.
I loved this. You just never know who you will inspire. You just never know what is going to trigger someone’s memories. It takes zero effort to be nice to people. Zero. You get a whole lot back in return. It’s all gravy!