Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mangoes and Mw-something

"D'you like mangoes?" the young man asked me as he began bagging my groceries.

Caught off-guard, I answered, "No," and looked around to see if there was a pile of marked-down fruit that he was trying to sell me.

"You don't like mangoes? They're so good.  I've been eating them since I was a kid."

Trying to relax into this unexpected and slightly weird conversation with the eager young adult, I said, "I guess I like them, but I don't eat them much, because they are very difficult to cut up."

"I like mangoes, grapes, watermelon, apples.  I eat all of those all the time."

The man had light brown skin (a creamy coffee ice cream to fall into the over-used formula of describing skin color with food) and wore his hair long enough that you could see the loose curls.  He was probably in his late teens or early 20's.  His nametag had a lot of vowels, Mw-something, but he didn't have an accent.

"What are your favorite fruits?"

This enthusiastic line of questioning was still a little confounding to me.  Did he have some type of mental challenge? Or was he just socially awkward? Judging from the look the cashier gave me when I left, this type of patter was par for the course when Mw-something was sacking groceries.  But who can blame him? Why not engage in conversation? It sure beats being surly or just standing there waiting for your next cigarette break, as it seems some of the sackers are doing, so I answered his question the best I could, with a smile.

"We eat a lot of apples. My son really likes those.  I like grapes a lot. The red ones."

"Yeah, yeah.  Those are good.  Hey Tony (to the cashier), do you like the red grapes or the green ones best?"

I don't think that Tony even answered.  I'm glad that I let myself be available for 3 minutes to have an odd, but friendly fruit-centered conversation.

4 comments:

morninglight mama said...

What a nice story. I tend to have odd conversations with folks in public, too, much as my mother always did when I was a mortified kid. :)

planetnomad said...

I love mangoes! Ever since we lived in Mauritania! I could teach you how easy they can be to cut and eat if you like :)

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Our store has a bagger who is always eager to strike up a food-related conversation. It felt awkward at first (especially for this introvert), but I've gotten used to it, and it really seems to brighten his day when I take the time to genuinely interact.

Stacey said...

Some people just like to talk and they don't care who they talk to. Some people like me can't stand silence. I think silence when people are around is awkward unless the situation calls for silence. I like apples and grapes too. Can't stand the smell of mangoes.