A compliment can go a long way
As Jeremy waited for his wife in the hobby store, he went to the magazine rack in the front. Nearby were six chairs with a sign overhead: Men’s Resting Area.
These people get it. Just killing time.
None of the magazines caught his attention. None of them were sports or gun related, only hobbies and crafts. “Well, they almost get it,” he said in a whisper.
Mindlessly flipping through the magazine while watching people go through the check out, Jeremy noticed a middle-aged lady run her credit card through the machine. Her makeup was thick, but not unattractive.
Where’ve I seen her before? She looks familiar. Was she famous and I just don’t know her name? I’m trying to place her. When? Where?
She ran her credit card again and shook her head. Declined. With a heavy sigh, she put the card away and took out another. This time it ran through and she smiled.
That’s it, the smile.
He closed the magazine and looked at the cover. Hobbies and Dreams. There she was, the lady checking out, the one with the toothy smile and heavy makeup. As she grabbed her bags and got closer to Jeremy, he noticed she was a bit older than the middle-aged cover shot, probably closer to 60.
“The power of makeup,” he whispered as she approached. He smiled at her.
He held up the magazine cover and she smiled back with the same smile on the magazine cover.
“Catching up on a little reading?” she asked.
“No, just looking for famous people.”
“Aw, that’s nice. I’d hardly say I’m famous.”
“In this magazine and in this store you are.”
“Can I get your autograph?” Jeremy asked.
Smile lady was taken aback by the question. “Uh, sure, why not?”
Jeremy pulled out a pen he had in his front pocket and she signed the front of the magazine.
“I’ll just leave the magazine here on the table. People’ll get a kick out of seeing an autographed Hobbies and Dreams magazine. You don’t see that often.”
As Jeremy was walking to his car after his wife was finished a few moments later, he heard someone calling out to him. It Smile Lady from the store.
“Sir, Sir! I just wanted to thank you for making my day,” she said. “I've been feeling down lately and your request for an autograph really made me feel special.”
She turned to Jeremy’s wife and said, “Ma’am, seems you’ve got a really good man there.”
As Smile Lady walked away, Jeremy smiled, knowing he’d just brightened a stranger’s day. Sure, he’d have to explain the odd encounter to his wife, but it made for a great story over dinner.