Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The lesson for the day...

I don’t know why this memory came to me, but here it is. Eight or nine years ago, when I used to work in Center City (oh, happy day!), I stopped into a stationery store to buy a fancy-shmancy pen. The boy behind the counter was pretty cute and, so I thought, about my age. Being single at the time and very flirty, I employed conversational gambit #1, which involved asking if he graduated from my high school in 1987. Of course I knew he didn’t, but it was something to say. He stared and replied, “No…God, do I look that old?”

I glared. “Uh, I am that old.” He stammered an apology, probably thinking I was going to complain to the manager or something, and I took my leave. As soon as I hit the street I found that he’d given me too much change, as if I’d given him a twenty instead of a five. Now I had a decision to make: Let that smartass kid get toasted for his own mistake when they totted up the registers, or be charitable and return the money.

Oddly, I chose charity. I went back in, found him, handed over the money and explained to him what had happened. He said, “Wow…thanks! That was really nice of you, especially since I called you…uh…”

“Old,” I said flatly. “You called me old.”

See what charity gets you?

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