A Grocery Store Encounter

I was at the grocery store yesterday — my stock of tea at the office is much diminished and needed replenishment — and, like usual, I asked the cashier, an older woman, probably in her sixties, how she was. (When I say, “like usual,” it’s a habit born of years of retail. I try not to be a grumpy and disinterested customer, especially this time of year.)

“I’m tired,” she said, as she started scanning my items. (Besides two boxes of tea, there were antacid tablets, a bottle of diet cream soda, and a jug of windshield wiper fluid.)

I nodded. “I can understand that,” I said.

She looked at me. “I’m blessed.”

Wait. What did she say? What did I hear?

Some confusion clearly played on my face. “Wait, did you say ‘blessed’? That you’re blessed?”

“Yes,” she said. “I’m blessed.”

I had absolutely no idea to respond to that. I nodded, smiled, and said, quickly. “Yes, yes, blessed. Yes, that’s a good thing. I’m glad.”

She wished me a good evening when the transaction was finished. I wished her a Merry Christmas. Those exact words, despite my well-known reputation for being a heathen.

I still have no idea how to respond to “I’m blessed.”

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