I have a chronic condition that requires me to go to the doctor quite often. While this is expensive and time consuming, I have being working on seeing and understanding the positives in life. I found one such positive on Thursday.
I was going to the podiatrist and Thursday was my first visit to his office. As everyone knows, one must bring ID, proof of insurance, the copay, a lock of hair from a virgin, and the scale of a chromatic dragon on the first visit. The offices always ask that you are there 15 minutes early, but it has been my experience that 30 minutes is better even if you fill out the paperwork in advance. I was pleasantly surprised when the woman behind the desk finished me up in 5 minutes flat. As I walked over to the chairs, tucking my things back into my cardholder/wallet (because one should always save hair of a virgin and dragon scales whenever they have them) , an older gentleman said, “That’s a nice wallet.” In actuality, it was a cheap wallet that I bought in South Korea that holds everything and slips nicely in my front pocket.
Now it is decision time, I could have just said thank you and went about reading the news on my phone as I had planned, but I had 25 minutes to kill and the news has not been all that great lately, so I quickly told him the story about where I got the wallet, adding in that I taught in South Korea for almost 4 years. He found this interesting and told his brother had died due to illness in the Korean War and he was discharged right after because he would have been the last son. The next thing I knew he was telling me how he met his wife in business college. His eyes lit up as he talked about her and she blushed a little. I countered with the fact that I met my wife while we were working and the conversation continued.
About half an hour later, his wife was in the back for her appointment and I was being called back for my appointment. I made the nurse wait an extra 30 seconds, which she seemed to find annoying, and warmly shook his hand. “Jim, it has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for talking to me.” He smiled and thanked me for the conversation. Jim is 82 and I am 44. We have very little in common outside of a degree in business. But the conversation was fantastic. I wish that I could have a talk like that every day.
So the moral of my story is: Make friends with older people, younger people, people of the opposite sex, people of different races and ethnicities, people that you have nothing in common with, people that are from a different city, state, place or country than you, people of different religions and political parties, people that speak a different first language than you, nerds, athletes, realists, dreamers,gay, straight, lovers, and haters. The world is a bag of Skittles, taste the rainbow!
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