Yesterday I went to go get the mail and there was a little girl standing by the mailboxes. She was tiny, blonde, and had some of her second teeth growing in, which gave her that awkward look I so perfected in elementary school. She even had the little running shorts with the oversized t-shirt. Say hello to my uniform in the early 90’s. As I approached my little box to see if I might actually have some mail, the little girl got awfully close to me.
Unfortunately, I’m not an overly social person naturally. I’d as soon ignore someone than say hello if they’re in my personal space. Not if I know them, of course. Although sometimes then, too. I was born and raised in the South, it’s true, but my family hails from the much colder climates of Michigan and Rhode Island. Must be why I have ice in my heart.
So, anyway, I’m being mean and ignoring the little girl and collecting my mail, when she pointedly sticks a tiny post it note next to my mailbox with an “okay, there.” I take a side glance then rifle through my mail before landing on a newsletter from a friend I find interesting.
“Okay, there,” she says again, giving her little note an extra press. I get the sense Bucktooth wants me to look at her note, and since she’s still young enough to be cute, I oblige. I peer at tiny, crooked writing on a truly tiny post-it. It’s in pencil and barely legible. I look at the little girl with an eyebrow raised (which is more like a furrowed brow, because, alas, I cannot raise a single eyebrow. Ah, the frustration!). Behind her I see post-its littering the mail area. They are stuck to columns, mailboxes, and the bulletin boards. Finally, I look back down to see her gazing eagerly up at me.
“Are you going to the Roy Kent Festival?” (I actually have no idea what the name was she said but it was something like that.)
“The Roy Kent festival, we’re having the Roy Kent festival, are you going to be there?”
She is absolutely breathless with hopefulness and my heart melts a little bit.
“Well, I don’t know, what is it?”
“It’s a festival! Are you going to be there?”
I’m honestly a little puzzled. She’s standing there with her little pencil and she’s got a little bag on her arm. We’ve had some skeezy solicitors around lately asking me to “donate points” to their Cancun trip (Go away before I set my dog after you!), and the more cynical part of me wonders if someone’s sending a little girl around to collect money.
“Ohh, well, maybe I will be there,” I say vaguely because she doesn’t seem to be giving me more information, and I can’t stand to say no to her.
Her grin absolutely lights up her face and part of me wishes I actually were going to this little shindig just to make her happy. But as I stand there waiting for her to either give me more details or start asking for some financial support, she just stands there smiling happily at me.
“Okay, well…I’m going to go home…have a good day,” I don’t really know what else to do.
She takes a gasp like she is going to say something else as I slowly back away to my car. She stops then says, “Okay! Have a good day!” And that was all.
I keep thinking about this little girl. I wish I had been nicer to her. I was the little girl who was always too scared to go out alone or talk to people I didn’t know. And here’s this little tiny thing putting her “flyers” all over the apartment complex. I hope her little festival is truly wonderful. Or even real, for that matter.
Some pictures from my past: