As I transition into graduate school and away from the world of full-time employment, I can’t help but be mystified by the differences between night living and day living.
If I went to the grocery store in the past, it was only at night or on weekends. Now I might go to the store at 1:00 p.m. on a Wednesday, and I can’t help but notice that the people roaming the streets are a bit … different.
These day-walkers are all so bright and cheerful. They want to talk to you. I can’t help but feel a bit like a vampire, emerging from the night, in awe at how these creatures live.
I recently went to the grocery store and, among other items, was hoping to pick up a bottle of red wine. A conscientious young man immediately sprang to my assistance, asking what I was looking for.
When I told him, he proceeded to go into extraordinary detail about a collection that was exactly what I desired: on the fruitier side of reds, not too dry or heavy, something about tannins…
“We should have that in November,” he concluded. “We’re really looking forward to it!”
Are you kidding me? I thought, trying to maintain a friendly face. You just spent ten minutes telling me about something you don’t even have?
“Um,” I eventually responded. “So what can I actually buy?”
The day-walker moved closer to my miniature cart, actually resting his hands on it, and began his next pitch. I resisted the urge to throw my nonexistent cape over my shoulder and hiss, making a break for the frozen foods aisle.
“We could get you a wonderful lechuza from Spain, a gamay from France, a pinotage from South Africa…” he rambled, adding extensive details about each one.
I took a deep breath and cut him off at wine number ten, asking him to point out any of the bottles he mentioned so I could grab it and run.
“Sure,” he meandered over to the Spanish section and indicated a bottle. I put it in my cart without even looking at the details, but I wasn’t free yet.
To be honest, I have little recollection of what he said next. It had to do with wine, but I was more perplexed by why he was continuing to act as a human barricade in front of my overflowing cart in the narrow wine aisle.
I sensed my opportunity as he finally paused for breath and stepped to the side.
“Thank you so much for your help!” I said with a smile, hoping my overwhelming impatience wasn’t seeping through every word I said (I’ve been told I have no talent for lying). “I’ll definitely be back in November!”
As I continued shopping, I congratulated myself on how I handled the situation. The whole time he spoke, all I wanted to say was “OMG STOP TALKING.” Yet I patiently listened to him speak and (hopefully) managed to avoid any acts of rudeness!
But as I thought about it more, I realized that I need to shed these vampiristic tendencies if I hope to fit in amongst the day-walkers. There really are worse things in the world than nice people talking to you, I guess.