(originally written in March 2006)
So I was driving home after work and stopped on the way at the Blockbuster near my home to return two DVDs I had rented. I noticed that there was a Girl Scouts table outside the store and it looked like they were selling cookies. I wasn't going to buy any in particular so I walked over to the movie drop flap, but I couldn't help giving a preoccupied adult I've-got-big-things-on-my-mind smile to one of the girl scouts that was selling the cookies because she had actually seen me first and was looking at me. I was thinking, 'Great, now she's gonna come and ask me to buy some cookies and I really don't want to buy any'. Then suddenly, the girl rushes over to me, and all 4 feet of her smiling and beaming with delight goes, 'Do you teach with Junior Achievement?'. For a second, I was confused and all I could do was just be surprised with this very innocent looking kid I didn't know. People don't just go around talking to people, you know, especially little kids. They don't go running to strangers and smiling at them nomatter how badly they want to sell cookies. I caught myself and said, 'Um, yeah'. And after another second of looking at this girl's super-thrilled-to-see-me face, I went, 'Oh, wait, you're in that class, aren't you!'. The minute I audibly placed her in my memory, the girl gave me such a gigantic look of happiness. I was like, 'Wait, you're Mackensie? No, no, she has 5 sisters. You're....Emily....' at this point, she started nodding her head like crazy and her big smile got happier. There were two Emilies in that class - Emily T. and Emily G. I couldn't remember which one was which, so I said, 'You're....Emily.....T?' and then she started to shake her head, and I went, "G? T? G?". She nodded her head and it was established. She was Emily G. When she knew I recognised her, she was delighted. I'm not bragging, she was totally pumped. I have never seen someone I've barely met so visibly excited to see me and looking so twinkly-eyed because I recognised them. And I felt such a wonderful feeling of silly importance. I flung my DVDs into the drop-in flap and said, 'OF COURSE I'll buy cookies from you!'. She had barely said anything about cookies until this point, but I felt so touched by the whole thing. I looked and saw that the cookie boxes were 4 dollars each, and wouldn't you know, I had JUST made change at the office that day for a 5 dollar bill and so I had exactly 4 dollars bills in my wallet. In a flash, I was in and out of my car with the money and I had bought my favourite cookie box. What a strange high that was. I then gave her the money and almost shook her hand off as I said bye, and then I said that I hope she made a lot of money. What a dumb thing to say, but I was all over the place.
It was not a sales-pitch, her recognising me. I could tell that from her face. She reminded me of when I was little and would chance to see a teacher I liked somewhere outside of school, and I would abandon everything and go running to her just to say hello and then stand there and blush.
And look at me today, so over-stuffed and bothered about being grown-up that I was almost going to say no to someone who was just excited to meet me. For shame. I used to sell raffle tickets and stuff all the time when I was little. How could I ever forget how crestfallen I would be when no adult would buy anything from me. Moments like these I think the cosmos or God or whatever is giving me a whack on the head - 'quit whining and enjoy a cookie'.
These cookies aren't worth 4 dollars, they're priceless. :D