“Pssst…Jen…do you like mussels?”
It was Matt, the “fish guy” at our community market. And, as luck would have it, I had invited my parents for dinner that night and did not have a dinner plan.
“My Dad goes bananas for mussels, but I have no idea how to prepare them. I’d love to get some, if you can give me some tips.”
He scurries around behind the counter, sloshing buckets of mussels around. He handed me a wrapped package…6 pounds of mussels. And the cost? 6 cents.
He was grinning.
“Jen, you’re a terrific customer so just take them. And here’s my mussels cookbook, just return it when you’re done.”
Now I was grinning too.
I came home and spent a fantastic few hours in the kitchen with my mum. We picked 2 different recipes, drank wine, laughed, shared stories and experimented with bivalves. A triumphant meal. We toasted to Matt, my fish man, with the bubbly that my Dad brought.
I returned the cookbook to Matt, with a small handwritten thank you card. I wrote about how delicious our meal was, acknowledged he made me feel valued and that I appreciated him for such a kind and thoughtful gesture. It wasn’t poetic, it wasn’t verbose. But it was absolutely genuine.
A few days later, I’m back at the market and Matt locks eyes with me while he’s serving another customer. He says “excuse me, I have to talk to my favourite customer EVER.”
He comes out from behind the counter and shakes my hand (fish guts and all). He blushes and says, “Jen, I have to thank you. Your card…”
“Of course, Matt! It was so sweet of you to give me free mussels AND loan me your cookbook…” I could tell by his eyes he had something to say so I trailed off…
“It made my day. I can’t remember the last time I got a real card! And it was so nice! I left in on the desk out back and my boss saw it and he congratulated me. He also took a picture of it and sent it to the head of the company. They gave me a bonus and made me employee of the month.”
I was speechless. He did the nice thing. All I did was acknowledge it. I mean, it would have been rude not to, right? My Granny Love would certainly think so! And yet, my act of simply saying thank you triggers this amazing chain of events.
But the story doesn’t end there.
This was about a month ago. Just this morning, I was at the market. Didn’t even go past the fish counter. I was buying a latte at the café and Matt comes up. “Psst…now I KNOW you love oysters. Want some?”
“Hell yeah, man!” I reply.
He scurries behind the counter, comes out with a box of 60 oysters. Winks and says in a loud voice, “Here’s your custom order, Ma’am!”
If you’re looking for me on Saturday night, I’ll be drinking bubbly, eating oysters and feeling the love with my family.
I shared this story and then this post with John. I can see on our video chat that he’s looking off into the distance when he finishes reading, which is always a sign that my work needs more work. He says “you’re missing the lesson”.
We argue a bit, wave our arms, yadda yadda yadda, and come to the conclusion that there are so many layers of gratitude and love in this story that I’m ending this blog letting you choose your own adventure in terms of your own lesson.
My bottom line is that when you show real gratitude, thoughtful, personal and genuine gratitude, you never know what magic can happen!