"I have been taking a few vacation days here and there."
She looked at me and smiled. And then continued with "I needed those days. For my own mental health."
"Yes, we all do" I added.
The truth is I have no idea about her life and the stresses. I know about one stress, which is more than what I can handle if I were to face such a situation. All said and done, despite the crappy people that I run into, I have always known that I have a pretty darn good life. It is because I am a mere mortal, and not a Buddha, that I, too, like most of my kind, like to complain about this and that.
"So, all good now?" I asked her. To some extent, it was a defensive mechanism by asking her whether she was doing well. Because, if I asked her about the problems that were stressing out, I know that I will get jolted. I am a wuss. A big time wuss.
"Oh yeah, much better" she said as she laughed a hearty laugh.
That laughter provided me with the opening that I needed to thread in comic relief. After all, it is not only the place for small talk but also that I can easily get amused.
"So, you won't go postal on me then?" I grinned. Well, I hope that she was able to decipher from my expression that I was grinning and not clenching my teeth ;)
Apparently that was exactly what she needed. She rolled with it. "I can see it now. "Grocery store cashier goes postal." Oh, I need to tell Lena this."
I wondered who Lena was. Lena couldn't be the cause of her stress is all I could infer.
As she punched the last of the keys to complete the transaction, she pointed to the mung beans that I had purchased. "How do you cook them?"
"With onions and tomatoes."
"Oh not that way. I boil the beans until they are about three-quarters done. Meanwhile I sauté the onions and tomatoes with spices. And then I dump the beans into the party and let them have a good time."
"No meat or anything?"
"Nope. This is a wonderful source of proteins by itself."
"I should try it sometime" she said.
"Good to see you" I told her as I carried my bag to the car.
I am tempted to go there after I cook it and give her a sample to taste. I can only think that it will ease her stress. But then there are others at the store with whom I have developed a "checkout relationship," and they have their own problems as well. Handing out samples to all of them as I walk about in the store seems odd, very odd! Thus, I will do the next best thing: I wish them all well.
|I made this dish today:|
with potato, red bell pepper, edamame, ginger, and coconut milk