Let me start out that I’ve been going to a certain specialty store for several years.
I know them by name, they’re FB friends, customers of my husband’s, and just in general, I love the store.
That said, about a year or so ago they hired a guy to do the heavy lifting to people’s cars.
Nice enough guy from Ireland.
The first time he helped me he inquired about my Pagan Fish that’s on the back of my car, and we chatted a little. He asked my name and introduced himself.
Nice enough, I’m totally fine with people asking about my fish.
However, I don’t really like standing and chatting when I’ve got somewhere to go.
I’ve tried to cut him short several times but he just keeps talking, and quite frankly, he speaks so fast that most times I can hardly understand him. He also wiggles his eyebrows alot, but I don’t know if he’s implying a deeper meaning to his words or if it’s just an “Irish Thing”…and he stands a bit too close.
He also always calls me by name or by “Pagan”.
He always remembers my name…I couldn’t tell you his if I tried.
One time he told me that I was very special to him and one of his favorite customers.
Another time he told me that seeing me brightens his whole day.
Another time he told me how wonderful I am and an incredibly awkward, uncomfortable silence followed.
I stayed away for a month.
I also told Moose about what he’s said and how it makes me uncomfortable.
But I wasn’t sure if he should say anything or not.
The Southerner in me doesn’t want to be rude, and the low self-esteem teenager keeps saying “you must be crazy. The poor guy, he’s just being friendly in a weird Irish way and you’re reading into things. Do you wanna make him lose his job because you’re being stupid?”
(Though I did note that whenever Moose was with me he didn’t seem to be as chatty.)
So I went back before Christmas and the boys were with me.
I was hoping he wasn’t there. When we walked out I saw him hurrying to grab my order and take it to my car.
My stomach clenched.
After he loaded my car and checked my receipt, he asked me in a quiet voice “Do you give away hugs for free or do they cost?”
Against my better judgement I gave him a hug…because how do you reply to a question like that?
I told Moose and he called the owner.
As expected, “all the other customers just love him. He’s got an autistic son and when he heard Keylime has Aspergers his heart just went out to you guys and he just wants to be helpful.” But the owner did say he’d tell the guy “no more hugging the customers”.
My inner low self-esteem teenager was very smug that day.
I had to pick something up today so I stopped by, praying that it was too early for him to be there.
They weren’t even open yet, so I was playing a game on my phone when he walked up, tapped on my window and said “your lights are on.”
It’s rainy today, and I still had the heater on in my car.
I got out and was thrilled to see what I needed on sale in smaller batches so there would be no need for him to carry anything to my car.
Got a couple others things, chatted with my owner friends, and loaded my car. Got in, turned the key, was about to start backing out…
and he was at my window again motioning for me to roll it down.
I did just a bit and he asked me if I noticed anything different in the store.
I said no. He said “really? Nothing?” I shook my head again.
He said “pay close attention next time. The atmosphere is a lot warmer in there. Partly because of the dog…can you guess why else?”
I said “H? (the owner’s daughter)”
He said “No, she just plays a part and wants us to rise to the occasion. Not H.”
Then he cocked his head and said “you really don’t know how powerful you are do you?”
I’m kinda like “huh?”
He said “Aw, I think you know it, you brighten the whole area when you’re here.” Then walked away.
I felt nauseous as I pulled away, then called Moose.
But I don’t know what I want him to do about it, if anything.
I think I just want him to be aware.
Even now as I’m reading over this I’m like: what’s so bad about what he said? Seems nice enough. Some people’s day would be made if they heard that, what’s your problem?
Well, perhaps because my normal power lies in pissing people off because I’m abrasive…I don’t like this “you light up my day” thing, particularly when that’s never been my intention. I just wanna get my stuff, get in my car and leave.
I feel conflicted.
I feel nervous and on the verge of crying.
But then I want to slap myself and shake my head.
I’m not going back there again unless it’s absolutely necessary and/or Moose is with me.
Which really pisses me off because I REALLY don’t wanna be that “wussy girl” whose probably mistaken and suffering from some overblown ego.
But my gut is freaking out all over this, and I’ve learned one too many times to not ignore my gut.



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