Random Act of Joy

June 23rd, 2013

MunkieYesterday, I went to the post office. Partly checking to  see if I had any postcards… partly because I had some to send. To make a long story short, I had forgotten my stamps at home. I dug in my purse until I found the change I needed to buy one. Unlike another time, when I came up THREE CENTS SHORT, I found the coins, and went inside. There was a woman, probably in her late 50’s or early 60’s in line in front of me. I never escape a line at the post office. But I don’t think anyone does. Anyway… I stood there, waiting for my turn.

That’s when I saw a bright color to my right. I looked over, because let’s face it… I am distracted easily… bright colors and shiny things could distract me from anything. There was a lady, dressed in bright pink, from head to toe… sitting, waiting for her turn, I assumed. Great, I thought, two people in front of me. ALL I NEED IS ONE STAMP… and of course they only have one person working today. My luck.  The sitting lady  looked up at me, then began to move. She was getting up! … I worried that I had made her feel bad for sitting down (on what wasn’t meant for sitting) at the post office. Part of me wanted to run over and tell her to sit down, that I didn’t care that she was sitting at the post office. But I stood silently, watching.

The lady at the counter was stuffing her receipt into her purse, and Bright Pink was now standing, a bit hunched over, walking slowly, leaning on a cane. As she got closer, I saw that she was much older than I had first guessed. I assumed it was her turn next… Then the lady in front of me could be helped, and FINALLY my turn!

Wait, what? The lady in front of me started to move forward… Did she not see the Bright Pink in the corner starting to move? She was moving closer to the counter... I think she thinks she’s next!! Just let her go ne…. Bright Pink put her arm onto the other lady’s arm. This is when I realized that they were together. Part of me jumped for joy, because that meant it wouldn’t be quite so long to get out of there. I don’t know why everyone is in a hurry to leave the post office… it’s not really a bad place… and we all have smartphones t entertain us. SQUIRREL!

I assumed the younger lady was Bright Pink’s daughter, by the way she was talking to her. Bright Pink was so excited to be at the post office, sending someone something. Her excitement made me smile. The lady behind the counter weighed her package, and asked if she needed any stamps to bring home. She asked about some “beautiful flower ones” she had seen… and being a Postcrosser, I knew exactly what flower stamps she was talking about. (I do like them…) What came next is what surprised me and made me smile the most.

Her total came to $18-something. I expected the usual old person “things are so expensive these days” speech. Instead, she said, “Okay! I’m going to give you one of these 50 dollar bills I got for my birthday… I will be 91 tomorrow!” I smiled at this neat lady, all dressed in pink, so excited about her birthday. I thought that was the end… but she continued, “Yesterday I was out pulling weeds… and now I have some kind of rash on my leg.” … I was shocked. 91 years old and out pulling weeds!? Wow… You won’t see anyone in my generation doing that in 60 years.

Her daughter pulled her away from the counter, telling her that there were people waiting. Honestly, I didn’t mind that she wanted to keep talking. I was enjoying seeing the pure joy of a woman who was sending mail and telling us about her mail, weed pulling, and birthday. I had completely forgotten that I was in a hurry to get out of the post office, and hadn’t even looked at my phone. She was so sweet, and just made me smile so much. I walked out thinking, “I hope I am that joyful when I am her age.”

That lady will never know it, but she made my day. Take care, everyone.

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