Let me start my describing my character:
good sense of humor.
And now let me set the scene:
I’m checking out at the grocery store..
There is no bagger, so I’m packing my own stuff..
probably way too many heavy items into each thin bag..
(A real bagger would have used twice as many bags.)
Add that to my character list..
..next to humor.
the cashier is a quiet dude who’s about 16-18 years old.
He ain’t talkin’ until he gets to the bundle of asparagus.
He holds it in his hand and turns to the girl working at the register next to him and asks,
“Mary, does asparagus start with an A or an S?”
She tells him it begins with an A and..
without skipping a beat I say..
“Oh, oh..I’m betting someone doesn’t eat a lot of asparagus.”
Or maybe I said “like” asparagus…someone doesn’t LIKE asparagus..?
Doesn’t really matter.
Quiet (brooding?) teenager turns to me with lightening bolts shooting out of his eyes and pounces on my head barking:
“I have dyslexia and I can’t spell!”
Holy cow!! He was REALLLY ANGRY!!
I tried to smooth it over but the guy was having none of it..it was all I could do to shove the rest of my produce into one bag and slither outta there as fast as I could.
What bothered me most about this moment is how easily we get into trouble making assumptions about other people.
He assumed I was a nasty person making fun of his disability.
I assumed he was another kid who hates asparagus.
And just like that our big and small assumptions gave birth to a super-sized, over-the top, jarringly tense, whopper of an uncomfortable moment.
Funny how quickly that can happen..