She Made My Day

Somewhere in Wyoming, I was standing outside a truck stop waiting for my husband to return to the car. Casually my eyes drifted over the people moving about their business as I was soaking in the warmth of the sun and the luxury of standing for a few moments. I was enjoying this moment of solitude.

Suddenly I notice a woman with a cigarette making her way towards my area. Dismayed, I noticed there was a bench near by. Internally I rolled my eyes, willing her to move on and not interrupt my peace. She plopped herself down on the bench, looked straight at me and said, “I love your hair color. Is that natural?” I confirmed her suspicions that indeed it was natural. She continued chatting, telling me how her hair was gray but not like mine so she has to color it. Then she said something that made me laugh, “I’m going to be 58 this year, and you are much younger than me.”

My response was, “Thank you, but I am already 58, so I am not younger than you.”

She looked shocked. “I thought you were in your forties,” she replied.

I told her she made my day and that put a smile on my face for the rest of the afternoon. When my husband returned to the car, the lady had one more comment for him. “You have a beautiful wife.”

“I know,” he replied.

A few kind words changed my view of this woman. I want to remember that and be mindful of what I say. Perhaps I can make someone smile for an afternoon as they revisit something I’ve said to them.

25 thoughts on “She Made My Day

  1. Smiles and kind words just spread don’t they? And, I have to agree, your hair is pretty great and that green sweater of yours too 🙂 Loved meeting you at the conference!

  2. What a great story! My kids and I were sharing the elevator with two older ladies who were radiating “bad attitude” today. The elevator stopped and there stood a mom. She was carrying a purse, a small baby, a large diaper bag, AND trying to hold the hand of a 2 year old who did NOT want to get on the elevator. I was sympathizing with this young mom (and trying to help her!) and hoping that the bad attitude ladies would just not say anything, when the older one smiled and said, “Oh honey, don’t worry, all of us in this elevator have been in your shoes. Let me hold the door for you.” One little positive comment made all the difference.

  3. Paul says:

    A great testament to the need to take life in slowly, to allow our mind and inner life to wait and string a series of moments together instead of seizing on each individual moment. Nice! 🙂

  4. I love this little slice. It is a reminder that sometimes we are quick to judge and we easily make assumptions. Yet there are many people out there with a good heart – and truly, we all want to make a connection. And look what she did. This woman has left a lasting impression on you and now all of us. Words are powerful and so are stories. That’s what connects us. I think what I loved most about your slice. . . your husband and his response. Icing on the cake!

  5. What a wonderful conversation. I bet she did make you smile. Isn’t it funny the impromptu conversations we sometimes have as we are out and about.


  6. Those compliments that we receive when we least expect them always seem to put a smile on our faces, especially when they are least expected. We all need those warm fuzzies to help us get thru each day. Looking forward to our get together next week!.

  7. What a powerful example of how words can change our perceptions. Yay for you for looking young and beautiful. Yay for her for taking the time to share that with you.

  8. Thank you for reminding us of the power of a few simple, kind words. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all remember to shine a little light in other lives this way each day? I’m so glad you shared this moment with us!

  9. I am so quick to judge sometimes and tune someone out (especially if a cigarette or a perceived intrusion to my privacy is involved). What a wonderful reminder this story is to avoid that kind of stereotyping. Despite your initial misgivings you kept an open mind and were blessed with compliments!

  10. I think we need moments like this in our lives from time to time, just to remind us that people can be rather wonderful when we give them a chance. And what a lovely compliment, my friends…glad you shared it with your husband,too.

  11. Phillip says:

    And here, I thought the family motto was:”say exactly what you’re thinking–there’s always time to apologize later”.
    Well, whatever works for you!

  12. Tam says:

    Yes, a good reminder. She brought out the best, too, in everyone. I wonder what her “story” is. Travel on, Elsie.

  13. I do love a kind comment also….and I find that it is pretty unusual these days when we are out of our normal environment. I think people forget simple kindness way too often…I feel extremely grateful when children at school remember to say thank you. Getting a compliment on my age…that would be wonderful indeed.

  14. Terje says:

    A simple moment from a day leaves a reader thinking. A few kind words – not so hard to say, yet people can be stingy with them. It’s so much easier to let the biting words fly.

  15. Humans are so quick to jump to conclusions, aren’t we? Just spending that day with Johnston is part of it, but I do try to be more mindful, and then, as you did too Elsie, something occurs that makes me want to groan “will I ever learn?” Guess it’s good that you did learn something, and what a nice woman she was! (And I think you look beautiful in your pics, Elsie!)

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