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Recognized Social Butterfly


How Mannerly I Was

The other day, I realized that I had left in the car lots of bags for the multitude of groceries I was purchasing at the Waikiki Safeway. Instead of retrieving the bags, I decided to pay for the ones in the store at fifteen cents a pop. When I glanced at the endless array of groceries sliding toward Amy, the young cashier, I innocently asked her what was the cost of the bags. After seeing how many items needed to be bundled, she confided in me that she would charge half the price. I didn’t object to such generosity; I told her that I appreciated her gesture. Then she started inconsequentially but pleasantly chatting with me as she bagged the merchandise.  Over the years, many people have told me that I have a winning personality. I guess that sometimes it pays off: I saved about a dollar, but my amiable interaction with the cashier was an added bonus.

I got lucky that night as well. My wife needed a few newspapers to wrap artwork to be mailed to the mainland. We didn’t have any appropriate wrapping in our condo, so I walked over to a nearby hotel to ask if any extra newspapers were available. After I made a polite and polished request to the middle-aged woman at the front desk, she hesitated at first (perhaps because she suspected that I might not have been a hotel guest). But then she said that because I was so “sweet,” she would go to the back room and give me the Sunday edition of the Star-Advertiser. I thanked her kindly. She nodded and smiled.

Although I saved just a few dollars that day, the most gratifying moment was knowing that at nearly eighty years old, I still had at least a reservoir (or at least a residue) of Satz appeal.

The two women may not have followed their respective rules, but after all, this is Hawaii. The Aloha Spirit trumps protocol.


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