Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On My Bucket List: The 7-11 Man

Just a short walk away is one of our favorite local convenience stores, the 7/11. It's owned by a family who take turns manning the store. I have enjoyed chatting with the husband and wife, and can even claim to have gotten a bit of conversation out of their daughter, who comes in to help out occasionally after school.

The one who poses a challenge, however, is the young man who is there most often. He could be a very younger brother, or perhaps an older son - it really doesn't matter. What gets me is he is so closed off! This attitude could easily be taken as being rude, arrogant, and/or just plain hating being there. I, however, think he's just shy and guarded.

I can't blame him. The family is of mid-Eastern descent, though I could not say precisely where they are from. In this day and age anyone of any color and nationality faces a world of discrimination and hatred for things they have personally never done and most likely don't even condone. But that's a discussion for another time.

When I come up to the register the young man won't even look at me. I'm okay with that, as I realize we all have certain reasons for doing, or not doing, something. Every once in a very long while I'll get him to look me in the eye, and consider it a huge accomplishment when I get more than a "You're welcome" out of him.

I've told my hubby more than once my biggest goal with this young man is to get him to smile for me, just because. If you've ever visited this particular 7/11 you'll know what a daunting task I have set before myself.

I've been slowly breaking down his barriers, though. I have made him almost laugh a few times. I always say hello, thank you, and have a nice day. For the most part he remains stoic, answering with as few syllables possible. But I remain undaunted.

Recently we took the kids over there to get Slurpees, and he was outside washing down windows. I had finished paying for our things and had started backing up to the door when it suddenly opened for me. I looked up in surprise and said, "Oh! Wow! Why thank you." I don't know what struck him as funny, but he gave me an honest-to-goodness, completely unguarded smile. It took my breath away, and made me even more determined to see that smile happen without me looking like an idiot.

So there's my first ever post on my Bucket List. We'll have to see if it's a goal I can accomplish!

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Good job, Laurie! :-) And btw, I missed you on Monday. I hope the little one is feeling better.