This afternoon, the grocery store was teeming with free samples. I’m usually not a fan of the items being offered, so most of the time I stay a few feet back from the sample stands, keep my gaze averted from the sample ladies, and generally all is well.
However, this afternoon one of the sample ladies didn’t read my non-verbals, and from across the aisle called to me, “Would you like a sample?”
I politely smiled, and said “No thank you” as sweetly as possible. I then continued to look for the item I was trying to find. Two seconds later, the older woman called to me, “Are you sure? I’m one of the chef’s here, and I made it myself!” She was clearly proud of her creation: a sausage-stuffed pork chop wrapped in bacon. I smiled kindly at her, and gently explained, “I’m a vegetarian.”
Her eyes turned slightly downcast, her shoulders sagged, and the smile dropped from her lips. She looked simultaneously saddened and sympathetic; as if I had just told her I had cancer, and that her cooking stunk. In a slightly-stunned, slightly-hurt tone, she said, “Oh. Then I guess you wouldn’t like this.”
Again, I smiled gently, then encouragingly said, “But thank you anyway!” I found the item I was looking for, and pushed my cart along.
As soon as I turned away from the woman, I couldn’t help but smile. Her response to my lifestyle choice kind of cracked me up; and thought that probably wasn’t her intent, I appreciated the unexpected levity I experienced amid this otherwise boring shopping chore.