Lucy was about 5’4″, slender, brunette, very cute – and apparently, in the state I was in, ageless. I had just had a string of enchanted interactions with customers (1/7, 1/9). I wasn’t thinking of her as the 54 years old that her driver’s license would reveal her to be. So I carded her for the bottle of wine she was buying. I am a lot more conservative about carding than most of my colleagues. From my 68 years a lot of people look younger than they do to my 20-something colleagues. When I was trained for this job, I was told that if someone looks under 50 we should card them. And I know from experience that older women generally like being carded – but that’s never why I do it, it’s always because I genuinely think they look young.
Maybe an angel made me do it. Lucy thought so. She was obviously excited and touched. “You’re an angel to card me. A ways back I passed a marker where I thought, ‘Will no one ever card me again?’ This is the highlight of my month!” (“Wow, her month!” Her excitement lit me up.)
When Lucy left my line, I was excited by the possibility of offering a customer exactly what they need in that moment to heal an inner wound. Obviously we can’t really know what that would be, but what’s the harm in trying? The next guy up in my line was significantly short for a guy – maybe 5’5″ or so. Does he have any issues with being short? How could I possibly know? But if seeing Lucy as young had such a positive effect on her, then why not see this guy as tall? So I did. I didn’t look up over his head, but I just pretended I was dealing with a tall man. Why not? Did it have any positive impact on him? I’ll never know, but I’m sure it did him no harm – and it had a positive impact on me. I gave him more respect than I might otherwise have. I have a woman customer who has suffered terrible burns over her face and I practice seeing her as beautiful – and I trust that this is a good and useful thing to do. Why not see this guy as tall?
Why not imagine qualities where there is no physical cue for what the person might be needing? Why not smart? Brave? Loving? I could just trust my intuition to pop up a quality that is useful for that person. Why not? It’s more fun than just swiping groceries. I’m going to play around with it.