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Gratitude for the checkout guy at Yokes



I was sad, and I was food shopping. The two things were not related, but they intersected at the checkout line. As I was inserting my debit card to pay for my groceries, I put my elbow on the little ledge where the machine sits, and reseted my forehead in my hand. I must have sighed. I didn't even realize I was doing this, until the checkout guy asked if I was alright. I popped up, embarrassed and smiled a fake smile. Yup, I’m fine, thanks for asking. He nodded solemnly. Then, with the same serious expression and a totally straight face, he asked for my ID. He was joking, of course -- I'm clearly over 40 -- but he kept insisting, all the while never breaking character. So I laughed, genuinely now, and said, ok, I’ll play along. I showed him my ID. He looked at it intently, then declared, loudly and sternly so that the rest of the folks in line could hear: no, not this one, your *real* one -- you know, miss, I’m gonna have to cut this up. He was a very big guy, and would have been intimidating if it wasn’t clear to everyone that he was teasing. I laughed again -- as did the others in line -- and said: thank you, I needed that, I needed a good laugh. He replied, now with a warm smile: well, I’m just glad I made you laugh, you seemed like you needed it, and I got to see that beautiful smile. I was so moved that I teared up, thanked him again, and left quickly. He didn't have to make the effort, much less ask in the first place. But he did both, and I'll never forget it.

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