Joe rode down the elevator with the cart full of luggage. I waited for the elevator car to return and take me down as well. The door opened and I backed on. It was only one floor down so the ride was quick. The elevator opens just off the main lobby of the hotel. Two people, maybe five years older than I, were waiting right at the door - as people do, and were surprised to see someone wanting off - as people are. The stared at me briefly, confused as to what to do, then the woman said, "Are you all alone?" I said that I was, it was the man who spoke next, "Good for you!" I nodded in thanks as they backed up and I pushed myself into the lobby to wait for the car to pull up front.\
I got in the car laughing and told Joe that my day had started off well, I'd already exceeded expectations. It's wonderful to have the bar set low sometimes, it make success a kind of foregone conclusion. We headed off on the last leg of the drive to Independence, a city just shy of Kansas City on the Missouri side of the river. Over the next few hours we listened to a book on tape, chatted about the upcoming work week, planned our day off on Monday. The usual travelling together stuff.
In all that I thought about the interchange with the couple. What surprised me was that it didn't annoy me one bit. Normally that kind of thing gets to me - people being awestruck that I'm at all independent or able is more irritating than not. But I didn't feel that at all.
I think it was because of their voice. Well, more specifically, their tone of voice, was a bit different than what I'm used to. It was more encouraging than patronising. Does that make sense. I felt like it was a bunch of old folks cheering each other on to do whatever they can to keep doing whatever they can. It felt like it was just a 'good on you for doing it on your own' ... a 'right on sister' or a 'atta go boy'.
Its not so much the words is it? Its the tone and intent.
But maybe I got it wrong, I hope not though, because, in fact, I did feel encouraged. And sometimes, we all need that don't we?