I left Myrtle Beach coming home the other day at 8:15 A.M. I know precisely what time it was because I went to the mall next door to the hotel to get a cup of Starbucks coffee for my drive. I parked my car and walked A L L T H E W A Y across the mall to the Starbucks. I walk in the door and the lady looks up and says “I’m sorry. We’re not open yet.”
I said “Your door is unlocked. What time do you open?”
Starbucks lady: 8:30
Me: Isn’t it 8:30 yet?
S L: No, it’s 8:15 to be exact. (see that’s how I know what time it was!)
Me: That’s only 15 minutes and I’m headed back to Atlanta. Don’t you have any coffee already made?
S L: Yes, but I can’t sell it to you until 8:30. You can wait outside the door if you want.
Me: No, thanks. Isn’t there another Starbucks close by?
S L: Down on the beach.
Me: I’m going the other way… TOWARDS Atlanta?
S L: Oh, I don’t know. But I’m sure Target is open or the convenience store and they have coffee.
Me: Um…. Thanks….. you have been SO helpful. (dripping with sarcasm)
I was so pissed… but, luckily as I was leaving town and sitting at a redlight I DID happen to see a Starbucks sign at the Kroger so I got my Caramel Macchiato and was on my way. By the time I got to where Interstate 95 was my Starbucks was empty but my bladder was full and I now had to pee because it was empty so I stopped at the Pilot Gas Station right at the exit. I visited the restroom and was going to get myself another cup of coffee (I usually like to do half cappuchino and half coffee). There was a little lady who looked to be a little older than me working in the coffee area.
You know me, I have never met a stranger so we struck up a conversation. She asked me how I was and I told her I never have a bad day so we chatted about that while I was getting my coffee. I was so busy talking to her that I forgot to only half fill the cup so I’d be able to add the regular coffee and overfilled the cup which ran over the side and onto the side of my thumb when I tried to move my cup. You know that hot cappuchino I think is hotter than hot coffee? Yeah, just ask my thumb! Well, this sweet little lady was so concerned and solicitous about my burned thumb.
This nice lady wiped up the mess I made (which made me feel bad) and kept asking if I was ok and I told her yes. But there was something about her that seemed SO sad that I just felt drawn to her and I don’t know what possessed me to do it but I put down my coffee cup and reached out and hugged her. She looked very surprised (but in a good kind of way not creeped out kind of way) and I thought she was going to cry!
Then I told her my “hug story”. I was at a seminar once where the speaker was relating that humans need the physical contact equivalent to 7 hugs a day to stay emotionally healthy. This seemed to intrigue her. I told her that after hearing that I had come home and shared it with my kids and told them they needed to hug six people a day and that they were to “take” a hug from me every day and “give” six away thus insuring them their 7 hugs a day. She looked like she had tears in her eyes and she said “Seven hugs a day? To say emotionally healthy? Seven? That’s perfect! That means completeness!” I said yes, it does.
She went running over to the cashier behind the counter and goes “Can I give you a hug? This lady says we need to hug 7 people a day to stay emotionally healthy and she just gave me a hug so I need six more!”
The lady behind the counter goes “Well, of COURSE you can” and she hugged her and then turned to me and said “Where’s MY hug?” So I hugged her and then the other lady behind the counter goes “Me too!”
It was hilarious (in a good way). They asked me to repeat what I’d told the first lady and I turn around and she is almost chasing customers around getting her hugs in. The guy in line beside me though did do a quick side step….. AWAY from me! LOL That’s ok… I got someone else. I ended up hugging about 5 total strangers before I left the store and I tell you when I left I was in SUCH a good mood! And the ladies in the store were all smiling and the one lady was waiting by the door to try to hug the customers as they came in and tell them they needed to hug 7 people a day!
I know you might think I’m crazy (and maybe I am!) but I think my work was done there. It’s amazing how 1 simple little act can turn your whole day around. I completely forgot about the crabby Starbucks lady (until I started writing this) and thought instead about just how lucky I am and what a wonderful life I have!
So don’t forget that every day you need to take 1 and give 6 away. I guarantee you that you will feel so much better! How can you be mad when you’re hugging total strangers?