Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saving Face

Yesterday, as I stood in line at the grocery store waiting for Ben and the kids whom I could hear beyond the shelves at the juice bar, the man in front of me turned and asked, "How do you spell obvious?" I spelled it for him. He asked a second time moving his mouth through the letters, and then nodded. "I have to write a card," he said gesturing with the card he was waiting to buy, "and was just thinking. I've never been good at spelling." He had greying hair around his ears and was nicely dressed, probably in his mid-50's. We went on to talk for a few minutes about growing up and school.

After he checked out, I thought about him; how rare it is that someone, a stranger, comes at us with a bare need like that. He wasn't interested in saving face, he simply set out what he hoped to know. What would even a trip to the grocery store be like if we were all so honest about our need for each other?

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