Week 1

While I’m no stranger to interacting with the public, I made it a goal this week to make conversation with seniors at my place of work.

Hundreds of customers walk through those doors each day. Yes, at times my social battery runs out and I’m tired of people asking “where’s the milk around here” or “do you have garden hoses?” But whenever an elderly customer comes in shopping on their own, I can’t help but have empathy for them. Some can barely walk while holding the shopping cart. While I feel bad for them that they may be lonely, or that their physical capacities are visibly decreasing, I commend them for coming out to shop in such a hectic sea of groceries carts.

For some senior citizens, going out for their weekly grocery run is likely the most interaction they have all week. It breaks my heart. It shouldn’t, I don’t know them. But it does. So whenever one of them comes up and asks a question or simply wants to make small talk, my job becomes trying to make their day a little better.

This week, I particularly went up to seniors who I thought had an impeccable sense of style. A gentlemen in all black, a top hat and a black trench coat. A lady with a bright purple sweatshirt with a vintage teddy print. And finally, I couldn’t forget that lady dressed head-to-toe in pink. Barbie pink.

After having heard my little compliment, each individual looked so appreciative and continued to describe why they dressed that way. I thought their perspectives were each so unique from each other, but what never ceases to amaze me is the way they can carry a conversation. Many times it feels like I’ve known them for years; conversation is comfortable and flowing. These are qualities that I rarely find in interactions online, where they sometimes pertain to being rather short and hollow. “I love your outfit, you look like a doll!” “lol thanks.”

Of course, conversation is different for everyone is every context. I just hope that online interactions with strangers (although difficult) can somehow one day reach a higher level of genuineness and flow. It would definitely help some people on dating apps…


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