Saturday, May 24, 2003

Yesterday was my birthday.

I have kept it low-key, intentionally. I don't think that this is the time for me to have a big bash. After all I am still techincally a "mourner."
But actually one thing happened yesterday that made me feel significant. And as ridiculous as this may sound, it left me with a very warm feeling. The woman at Dunkin' Donuts knew what I wanted even before I had a chance to say anything. I walked in and immediatley, she said "small coffee with skim milk." I nodded and then smiled. Thank you, I said.
I began to think that hundreds of people walk in there on a daily basis. Hundreds of grunting strangers who expect special treatment, better than the equally-groggy person standing to their left and right will get. But in truth, to the woman behind the counter, we are all anonymous. We are all just faces in a crowd looking for a caffeinated fix, forgetting to say "please" and "thank you." But on this Friday morning, that changed for me.
It was a truly great birthday present. Because through this Indian woman dressed in a tacky brown and pick uniform, I was aknowledged by the world for being a person. An individual. A woman who normally doesn't look up, looked at me, knew who I was and what I wanted. She knew why I was there.
And if you think this isn't a big deal, then you've never been to a Dunkin' Donuts in morning rush hour. For that moment, when I got my coffee with skim milk, I was important enough to be considered a person with individual needs and tastes. Yes, an individual.
And isn't that what we are all looking for?


Post a Comment

<< Home