Imagine probably the cutest little old man you’ve ever seen.
Sweatpants, flannel shirt, hearing aids. Gotta be pushing 90, complete with the huge ears sticking out from a ball cap whose brim is pulled down to his nose.
He’s pushing his grocery cart past the in-store Starbucks. I’m waiting for my coffee, and there’s about a dozen of those little paper cup things the barista has set out—you know, the free samples of what appears to be last Thursday’s walnut bread.
He stops, grabs about five of the free samples, and starts pushing his cart again. It’s raining out, slick …
Me: Need a hand with your groceries?
Me: It’s wet out—can I help you take your groceries to your car?
Him: Oh, SURE!
Him (raising a finger into the air): Hold on.
He lets go of the cart handle, and with two free hands now, he steps back toward the Starbucks counter to sweep the rest of the free samples into his arms.
This is definitely the kind of old guy I want to be when I grow up.
Him (extending one toward me): Yeah?
Me (chuckling): Uh, no, I’m good but thanks.
Him (shrugging): Suit yourself (and he sticks two of them in his front shirt pocket).
I think I love this guy already.
We arrive at the curb outside.
Me: Where are you parked?
Me: Where’s your car?
Him: Oh, I don’t have a car, God no. They took my license in 97.
Me: Oh, uh, well …
Him: I’m fine here. They’ll be by in a minute.
Me: You sure?
Him: Yeah, this is fine. Thanks!
I didn’t really want to leave him standing there in the rain, but he did seem to be fine. So I went off to my car and circled back around on my way out, to make sure he was okay.
He was okay, alright.
In fact, he was getting into the back of the biggest, baddest black Cadillac SUV you’ve ever seen. Chrome wheels, tinted windows—had to be a $75k ride.
I really hope he knew them.
I’m not quite as worried about them—if they didn’t know him, they’ll know him soon enough. Walnut bread, anyone?