writings/I fell in love with the cashier at Kohl's

Published 2014-08-31

Standing in line at Kohl’s, I was intrigued by the cashier as she checked out the woman ahead of us in line. I couldn’t read her. I couldn’t tell if she was content or tired. I couldn’t tell if she was exasperated with the woman, or patient. She was tiny and very pregnant. She seemed to take a long time to check the woman out.

She wasn’t paying attention when I stepped to the register, doing something else. I carefully laid out my tie, suspenders, and belt on the counter, all with their barcodes facing up, facing towards her.

Finally, she looked at the counter, looked up, surprised. “Did you lay those all out for me?”

I nodded. “I was going to do the same with the shirt and the pants, but…”

“You’re slacking?” She smiled, scanning my items. “Do you want to sign up for a Kohl’s charge card? 20% off your entire order.”

“No.”

“You sure? You can pay off the first charge now.”

“Not interested.”

Shrugged, finished ringing me up. Looked at me. “I’m going to give you 20% off anyway, because you’re sort of nice.”

She circled something on my receipt. “You saved $77.79 shopping at Kohl’s…that’s a funny number.” She handed it to me, her hand brushing mine.

She was small. Pregnant. Tired. Radiant. I wanted to ask her when she was due; if it was a boy or a girl. If it had a name yet. If it was her first. I didn’t. We left. It was a simple encounter, but I kept thinking about it on my drive home.

I’m reminded of an interview I heard a couple of months ago on To the Best of our Knowledge with Barbara Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0.

She redefines love in a beautiful way; not as a static entity but instead as moments of connection with others, whether with your soul mate, best friend, a stranger on the street, or a cashier at Kohl’s. From that interview:

Love is that moment of connection that you feel when you look into someone’s eyes, you’re feeling the same way and you momentarily have a sense of mutual concern for one another.

I see these micro moments of connection as being the real heart of a broader love system and they’re the actionable pieces. You can actually decide, ‘I want to feel more connected with people today,’ and make a change in how you interact with people and achieve that, whereas if you say, 'Well I want more love relationships today, that’s going to be be tougher to act on.

I love these brief moments of connection that linger on, whether it’s an unexpected smile, an uplifting exchange in a checkout line, or a square dance shared with a partner who is on the same wavelength. I live for them.

The complete interview is here.

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