The man's comment stopped me in my tracks. He'd been unlocking his office door as I passed it; he paused to tell me that my smile was beautiful and that it made his day to see a happy woman walking out of the building holding carnations.
One of the bigger breast imaging facilities in town is one floor up from his office. I was there this morning for my annual mammogram, just a routine checkup. I hate them with a blinding passion, as do most right-thinking people who dislike pain, but that doesn't mean my butt isn't in there like clockwork once a year anyway. Every September...a back-to-school gift to myself and my family. This place does a good job of making an unpleasant experience about as pleasant as it's going to get: among other things, lovely employees, nice warm robes to put over the thin and ugly hospital-gowny shirts, a coffee and tea machine in the lobby, and a bucket of flower bouquets in the changing area. When your appointment is done, they ask if you'd like to choose a bouquet to take home, a very nice touch. Anyway, since I had the telltale evidence in my hands, the man knew exactly where I'd been.
He added that he sees a lot of women with flowers passing his office door, many of whom are sobbing, or who break down as soon as they reach their cars or the curb outside. I was happy to have the whole experience over with and be leaving, but I hadn't taken time to be grateful for my good fortune.
The next time I leave that building, if I am smiling I will NOT take it for granted, I promise you that. Reality check received, loud and clear.