Saturday, November 3, 2018

Positively Bullying

The Austrian couple buying shirts is a study in contrasts: he is very friendly, and making entirely too much eye contact in a way that, were I not trying to sell him a shirt, would make me a little uncomfortable, while she, in keeping with many of the central European women I have encountered in my life, seems over it, “it” being everything, everyone, and every single attempt I have made so far to make her smile.

But the transaction has finally concluded to everyone’s satisfaction, it seems, and as I bag up his purchase his wife relaxes a little and idly examines the other offerings in the booth while her husband signs the screen. He then says, “I want to give you something.”

I demur, but grinning, he insists, and hands me a pen with what I presume is his name on it and the phrase “Greet every day with enthusiasm” written underneath, saying, “Because that’s what you have to do."

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