Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I saw: Blue collar virtue

The young woman at Value Village, a discount store.

She worked fast behind the counter. Like an octopus she hit price keys, answered the phone and bagged items. And all of this with genuine harried kindness. Her hair was falling out of her ponytail and her cheeks were pink. One would think that this was simply good service. We have been trained to see that way. It was more.

It was blessing and tragedy.

The blessing, of course, was her gifts. She was humble. Her speed on the register keyboard, her double bagging, her price checking. Her breathless courtesy. These were profound gifts of hospitality and humility.

She was trying to make her small space more spacious for me, the stranger.

Blue collar virtue.

It's everywhere and usually presumed upon.

The tragedy is that her beauty and youth were getting used up laying out red carpets on dull linoleum floors. To make ends meet.
For me, just another guy.

She should be out there making the world beautiful with her humility and youth. Stringing red ribbon around sharp corners. Christening wooden boats. Throwing clocks off bridges.

I can't wait until the lion lays down with the lamb and we all have enough to eat and gifts can be shed abroad without fear.


The Griggles said...

echo that, my brother

Shannon said...

another tequila please!