Sometimes it is very easy for me to fall in love.
Ok, perhaps “fall in love” isn’t the best term or the right term, but let’s not quibble over semantics.
I can’t stop thinking about them. Their actions have given me what I call “brain tingles” -or a ‘autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). They make me have a reborn faith in humanity and suddenly, the world feels like a wonderful and welcoming place in which I too am important. It’s like love, but not the kind of “love” you feel for the douchey “cool” kid in high school who hardly knows you exist, it’s like the love that you feel for your family, it’s the kind of love that comes from true kindness, not just aloof hotness.
I am currently in love with the cafeteria lady in my office building. Although I hardly eat at the cafeteria, due to my economical (90%) and dietary (10%) preference to bring my own food, she remembers me. How do I know she remembers me? Because today when I decided to buy a salad lunch, in which a bowl of ‘protein’ in the form of meat or cheese is included on the side, I was suddenly being handed a small personalized bowl of my own, filled with cashews and three* strawberries. The pretty cafeteria lady handed the bowl to me and said “I always feel so bad that there’s no side for you, so I brought you these so you at least get some protein.”
My jaw dropped. I closed it. I was mid way through my thank you as she was smiling and already moving onto the next thing- giving me that ‘no thanks necessary’ wave of the hand.
Bam. In love.
Being a shy, mostly introverted person, getting noticed and remembered is a big deal. I’ve had many times in my life where people don’t seem to remember that I too was at that party or in that class, and while everyone else received a fun superlative like “funniest” or “most beautiful” I received “most quiet” (which yes, we could argue isn’t so bad, but it was made worse by the awkwardness of everyone else reacting like I had just been handed poop). These things don’t happen too often, but they have caused significant dents in my confidence and feeling of importance.
Today, those dents feel more like tiny dimples and I feel memorable and important and visible. It’s a lovely feeling that, (oh my god I’m such a sap!), is making me tear up as I write this.
So thank you beautiful cafeteria lady for handing me a bowl of cashews, strawberries, and importance. Thank you for remembering me, and I love you… In a non-pyscho creepy way.
* My co-worker and I have noted in the past that they add a half a strawberry to some of the less appetizing sides: edam cheese that’s dried out to the point of looking like parmesan, goats cheese that appears to have melted and then re-solidified. All edible of course, but all in need of a bit of a spruce or compensation. Three strawberries told me that despite her extremely gracious act of even bringing me cashews in the first place, she felt she still needed to compensate, so touching.