I went to work yesterday expecting a mess. We had a promotion changeover and I knew the boss wouldn't have it wrapped up before I got in to work. But he did have much more done than I expected.
We had an enormous amount of things to toss out though, so I started bagging up crap to head to the dumpster.
On the second return trip from the dumpster I noticed a young mother with a baby in a stroller, and two toddler aged kids trailing behind her, heading to the mall entrance. She looked a little harried and as I approached her and the mall entrance I offered to get the door for her.
(And yes, I'm somewhat of a gentleman that way. As a bonus she was cute and I thought she might smell nice too, so in order to find out, holding the door seemed to be the best way to determine this.)
As I reached for the door I heard her say "Okay, great".... and I completely zoned out.
(This is a common phenomenon that happens to me and what can trigger it seems to vary wildly. My boss can be discussing some new policy, or work rule that I need to follow, or that I need to quit breaking and bam!.... I'm off in my own little world.
I'm off in La La Land wondering to myself when was the last time I took a piss. I then start to wonder if I need to take a piss. The answer is always no though. But I still have to determine exactly when the last piss occurred anyway. If it's been a sufficiently long enough time in the past I then pretend my bladder has super powers and no one on Earth has the bladder capacity I possess.
I then convince myself I can fly because somehow a full bladder induces levity powers. Then... well... I notice the boss is silent and just staring at me. I mumble that I need to take a piss and wander off to the bathroom to see if I can shake out a couple of drops.)
So yeah, it's not always okay and great being me.
Anyway, back to the door holding operation.
I heard those "Okay, great" words from her and I'm off and running a mental sprint of sorts. I know I'm staring at this girl, but not really seeing her. Those two words, "Okay, great" sounded off, somewhat tinny, and flat.
I wondered why didn't she just say thanks?
What does "Okay, great" really mean?
It didn't sound "okay" or "great" to me. I then tried to put myself in her shoes, mainly the ones pushing a baby in a stroller and two kids under the age of four at her heels. I can see where keeping eyes on this caravan could produce a less than stellar "Okay, great" sounding response.
But then I reconsidered. Maybe she's just exhausted and squeezing out those two words were an extraordinary effort for her. Perhaps, just perhaps, this was among the most "okay and greatest" of things ever performed for her. I was like some knight in shining armor and shit. She just couldn't properly convey it is all.
And then I had to reconsider again, because of that damn "knight in shining armor" thought. Maybe she thought she was royalty of some sort and I was a serf. I mean that "Okay, great" comment didn't sound particularly thankful or right to me anyway. It was just an obligatory remark to someone as lowly as me. She probably regretted saying it actually. I should have felt honored she chose to speak in my presence at all, her being so queenly and stuff.
And just as I was ready to consider another possibility the real world stepped back into play. She and the kiddies had gotten through the door, and she was staring at me and speaking to me. I then realized that her "Okay, great" comment had actually included a "thanks" at the end of it.
She had this strange look on her face and was asking me "Are you alright, mister?" Naturally the first thing that pops out of my mouth is "I'm fine, sorry about that, I've just got to take a piss."
To her credit she just nodded her head, then practically ran to get some distance between herself and me.
And dammit! While holding the door I was cognizant enough to verify she was cute but I don't really recall if she smelled nice. The best I can report is that she didn't smell bad. I'm sure I'd have picked up on that. Still a failure upon my part though.