Sunday, August 10, 2008

Conversations From Within The Dairy Case

So today was move-in day for the dorms on campus. I must not have had all the planets in the right alignment, because I had to go grocery shopping and there was no way around it. I thought it would be busy, and I was right. There were only 2 shopping carts available when I entered the store, and while I was shopping I noticed everyone had coat hangers and brooms in their basket. Thankfully, I needed neither of those items.

I walked to the back of the store, so I could go down each aisle and work my way to the front. I picked up some Diet Dr. Peppers and water (for which I literally had to stand on some refrigerator packs of 24 Sam's Club water and CLIMB on the shelf above it to reach the half-pint bottled water I was looking for.) Moving along I came to the dairy section of the store. I hate that they have it in the back, but I understand the reasoning. They want you to travel through the maze of merchandise on the way to the milk so that you'll put a thousand things in your cart that you don't need. I posted about the axis of evil that Wal-Mart before, so everyone knows how I feel about Wal-Mart. But I digress.

I searched the glass doors to find the milk that I needed: skim milk and buttermilk. Having located them, I opened the glass doors to grab a container of each. As I was looking through all the jugs (they put the older milk in the front, so I always get one from the back of the shelf since it's fresher) and I heard voices engaged in an intense conversation. This took me aback, because I'm used to hearing my own inner dialogue, but this didn't sound like me at all. After a second, I realized that the stock men were behind the shelves in the dairy case stocking it with fresh milk and they were venting and sharing about the evils of Wal-Mart (it was reaffirming to find that others have the same opinion of the store as I do.) They didn't know I was listening, they were so deep in their conversation. I happened to catch the snippet of conversation that I'm sure I was not meant to hear. I can totally relate to this situation, since I tend to find myself caught in this same situation. I don't take into account who is around me and the volume of my voice when in conversation.

I pondered this situation the following day. How does my outward appearance and conversations effect others around me? Do I look friendly and approachable, or mean and distant? Once, I saw a t-shirt that said, "Never frown. You never know who is going to fall in love with your smile!" I thought long and hard about this statement. Am I a happy person that smiles even when things are not peachy? Or do I scowl and act like my world is over? As far as the influence of my conversations, I don't know of anyone except my family that pick up my sayings. Just today, Raelynn told me that she "wasn't a fan of eggs." I laughed at this, since it so didn't sound like her. In the same conversation she also said "You've got it, Toyota." She doesn't even know what a Toyota is. She's heard me say it enough that it's now entered into her vocabulary. My father-in-law told me "I'm good" the other day when I asked if he needed a drink (I offered him water while he was working on the construction at our house.) He always uses proper English and steers away from slang. I didn't realize how much I used that phrase until he said that.

Saying all that, I just wanted to remind everyone that people are listening to us and watching us everywhere we go. Little eyes and ears tend to pick up our sayings and attitudes. I hope that my demeanor is one that people will feel uplifted and encouraged from after I've left them. I'm trying real hard to not complain and be grumpy. Those sort of people never understand that no one wants to be around them. It's something I have to work on everyday. And the next time I hear a conversation coming from behind the milk, I think I'll talk back because there's no telling how that conversation will be carried on to the next person they encounter.


Crystal said...

I feel the same way about Wal-Mart. I'm trying really hard to do as much shopping as possible at other places. Every time I go in there, something or someone ticks me off. Anyway, I think you're a "positive" kind of person. I really enjoyed getting to know you when I was in your classroom. Honestly, I think anyone who knows you thinks you're fun and friendly and great. Thanks for the comment today. I think once I get enough stuff made, I'll try selling it. What kind of stuff do you make? Maybe we can go together on a booth if they allow that. I hope you have a good week. If you ever need a classroom volunteer for something, let me know.

Carrie said...

I think people think you are fun and positive....but, yeah, you need to be more aware of who's around you when you talk...for example, be aware of who is in the stalls in the bathroom...hahhahhaha :)

jessica said...

oh man! i've been in florence al for the summer, and apparently the only cheap place to shop is wal-mart. so everybody, EVERYBODY shops there. it's constantly packed. the parking lot is always so full that you have to park in literaly the last parking spot. its like going to any other walmart two days before christmas. so i try to stay clear of it. normally i go to walmart about once or twice a week. but since ive been here, ive only been once a month. i have noticed though, that hardly anyone shops at kroger in starkville. there prices are just as cheap if you have a kroger card. and because they're not as conniving as walmart, you can usually get out with everything you need and 30% more money in your pocket than if you went to walmart.