The Kindest Thing a Man Can Say

I’ve gotten my oil changed at the same place for the past five or six years. I know I could shop for better deals and probably find a ton of them, but getting my oil changed is actually a nice thing for me. I talk to the same guy every time, he remembers me, and I mosey about for a bit until I get tired. Then, I go across the street to a little bakery, where I get myself a croissant and sit down to read until the car is finished.

Today, that’s what I did.

I was sitting there, re-reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent in preparation for the next book in the series (I know it came out a few weeks ago, but I’m a teacher and I’ve been busy!) I read for about forty minutes, not paying much attention to anyone in real life, but then this older man approached me and said something like, “That must be a good book. You’ve been reading so quietly all morning.”

I looked up and told him that I was waiting for my oil to be changed and that it is an excellent book.

He looked at me for a few moments without saying anything, then leaned in and put his hand on my table and said, “You’re very lovely.”

I was more than a little surprised, but said thanks, and he left.


There isn’t a thing in the world he could have said or done that would have made my day better than he made it.

So… to the old man who I’ll probably never see again: Thank you.


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