I just got crushed in a “battle of optimism” by a special needs cashier at Target. Wow.
He finishes with the previous customer, then turns to me and says…
“How are you?”
I’m awesome. How are you?
“So you say you are having a good day?”
I’m having a great day.
“Every day is a gift, isn’t it?”
Every day I’m not dead is a great day!
“I know. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
Yes! Exactly, I —
And then he just goes into this long optimistic speech — which hits the limit of my ability to recall it for a couple reasons:
1. he didn’t speak as clearly or with the sort of cadence that many people do and
2. he jumped to seemingly unrelated points/quotes (that I’ve never heard) — and really, I was just flabbergasted — because he just kind of burst into life with it.
But it was all basically a message of “I love life” — and I think he was happy to meet me.
And then — after his optimism had completely shadowed my own, he goes…
“Do you want to hear a math joke?”
And I was standing there with my jaw open, but managed to say, “ok”…
And it was a terrible joke, but that’s not the point! :)
One of my goals for 2013 is to push myself through my (situational) fear of strangers.
Today I introduced myself to Joel. Joel is a regular at the gym.
I see Joel push himself every day — on the workout floor and in the pool. And I respect that. And he always seems to be pretty happy.
When I was using the spa earlier this year, we’d often cross paths and nod at each other.
So I introduce myself and we talk for a bit…
ME: Yeah, I was training for a marathon — my first — earlier this year, but I suffered a foot injury early on. I bought those 5 toed shoes and discovered I have an extra bone in my left foot — which got aggravated. So I was using the spa a lot.
“I gotta use the spa before the pool, otherwise I have a hard time. A marathon, eh? That’s awesome. I’ve always wanted to do one of those, but it’d be such a long distance for me. What I’d really like to do is a triathlon — but I’m still waiting on getting a special bike.”
Oh man, I’d love to do triathlons, but I dated a triathlete for a few years — and that’s how I discovered I’m a terrible swimmer. My competitive swimming technique looks a lot like drowning. I tend to sink like a stone. So how’s your “running” pace?
“I’m pretty fast on the flats. Faster than most.”
I bet hills are a killer.
“Ah yeah, hills are tough, but I’d beat your ass on the way down.”
We continue to talk for a bit — wish each other a happy new year — and then I brush my teeth while watching Joel push himself out of the men’s locker room in his wheelchair.
Doesn’t happen. (Ok, it could happen — but you would really have to not like Bob an awful lot. And if that was the case, why is Bob knocking on your door? Could it be that maybe he’s at your door to apologize for whatever it is you are unhappy with him about? And if you don’t answer the door, you’ll never know. So seriously, just go open the door and find out why he’s here!)
A more likely scenario is…
Knock knock knock!
(to which the response is)
Be right there!
(And then you go and open the door).
But that’s not even a good joke.. Or any kind of joke, really.
So I think the whole premise is flawed.
It shouldn’t be a “knock knock” joke, it should be a “who’s there?” joke — where you start the joke by saying…
And the joke is that everyone thinks you are either blind, senile, or on drugs… because, let’s face it, that’s a really silly thing to ask people you’re talking to.