Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm an Emulator

When I leave work, heading home, the closest grocery store is a convenient place to stop for milk or bread (or, yes, chips and salsa). At this particular grocery store, the checkout folks will inevitably ask you, "Did you find everything all right?"

I used to kind of bristle at this question, thinking no, of course I didn't find everything. Then I found out that they're required to ask you this question, and I felt bad for thinking of a snarky reply. Customers can be real assholes, and I almost joined the lot.

Now, when they ask if I found everything, I smile and say, "Well, I found these things…", which usually draws a surprised laugh. I always wonder if they think I'm being obtuse, or if they genuinely enjoy the departure from the routine. I hope it's the latter (or at least both).

My dad's really good at these sorts of interactions, dropping corny lines that still manage to come off as genuine (an exuberant "working hard or hardly working?"). And I think I've inadvertently picked up on the habit, though he's much better at it. He's got this everyman, working-stiff appeal to him. He can talk to anybody and seem at-ease. It's really great to watch.

Anyway, the old boy turned 51 yesterday. Good on him.


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