Yes, it does make a difference.
It has been about four weeks since I last shaved. I don’t really know why I decided to grow a beard. Just for the heck of it, I guess. Little things can have consequences. I have gotten a lot of joking comments and that’s OK.
Yesterday was different. Here’s what happened.
I was sipping my midwalk senior coffee at the Sunset Avenue McDonald’s when I noticed a mom working with a young man on a classroom assignment. That’s nice, I thought. Every now and then the woman would sing a few notes. Nice, too. I finished my coffee and was about to leave when I felt a hand touch my arm. It was the mom, and she was crying. She told me that she had noticed I had been watching them. She said with my beard and all I looked just like her father who had passed away in January.
Jan. 10 was his birthday. He passed away on the third. He would have been 75. She went on to tell me about her dad’s family. They were from Guam. Most still live there.
“We are Guamanians,” she told me.
The young man she was helping was her father’s only grandchild. He is in his first year at Solano College. Grandpa called him, “The Boss.” We talked (mostly she talked) for about 15 minutes. About her father’s house in Vallejo. He was a retired chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy. He had served in Vietnam. She talked in between the tears. She kept telling me how much I looked like her dad. She obviously loved her father a great deal and was still mourning his loss. I’m glad I was there for her to get some of her feelings out.
Early on, she asked me if she could hug me. Of course. Before I left, I asked if I could have another hug from her. I didn’t have to ask.
It never would have happened without the beard.
Nice things happen to me at the Sunset McDonald’s. This morning I was, as usual, sipping my midwalk senior coffee. The fellow who does the cleanup work on the early shift came over to me and placed a small Asian pear on the table in front of me. I asked him if it was for me. He nodded.
Then I told him about my dear friend Bob Stow shopping for me at Larry’s Produce. The day before he brought me some lovely fresh tomatoes, a half-dozen fresh yellow freestone peaches, two cantaloupes and five ears of fresh white corn. I said I was going to be on a fruit and vegetable diet.
All of a sudden, I saw four fingers in front of me. He said he had brought four pears into the store. He left and in a moment, he was back with the other three pears. I told him he didn’t have to do that. He said, “I know, but you are my friend.”
He came to America three years ago to be with his sisters and brothers. He is 66 and needs someone like me to talk to. I’m happy to be the one. I like him. He works hard and keeps the place spotless.
You know, I think I could write a “McDonald’s book.” Nice people there.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.