BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

30 Days of Joy: Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

A group of friends bumping fists in celebration

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 6.

Are you the type of person who gets to know the service industry people with whom you regularly interact? Like the barista at your corner Starbucks or the server at your daily lunch spot?

I’m not. I’m too shy, too reserved, too timid when it comes to social interaction to stop and say, “By the way, I’m Brent…nice to know you.”

I just hurriedly complete the transaction and retreat to the safety of my solitude.

If I’d been a regular at “Cheers”, nobody would’ve known my name.

The closest I come to engaging is at the grocery store next to my office. Their prepared foods section makes outstanding tuna salad, and for the last year or so, I’ve been picking it up for lunch a few days a week.

Nine times out of 10, it’s the same girl who serves me, and we exchange small-talk pleasantries.

Today was a tuna salad day.

And as I made my way over there, despite still being at least an aisle’s length away, my girl spotted me, abandoned the display she was setting up, went behind the counter and began scooping tuna into a to-go container.

This brought a smile to my face.

Just that recognition made me feel appreciated, maybe even a little bit special. Within this mundane exchange was a human connection, no matter how fleeting or insignificant.

It was as if she were Sammy and I was Norm, and she was pouring me a cold draft before I could make it to my stool.

Of course, in her mind, I could be Norm. Or Cliff, or Frasier, or lord knows who else.

She doesn’t know my name, because I’ve never told her.

That’s probably something I should change.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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