Joe went to get the car as I waited just inside the door of the mall. As soon as I caught a glimpse of the car's blue, I headed out the door. I was about half way to the car when a young man, maybe 20, said, "Can I help you?" I was too tired for annoyance, so I just said, "No, really, I'm good." I smiled at having to refused clearly unneeded help.
He caught the look on my face and he grinned back at me.
Then peppered me with offers:
Do you want me to clean the salt off the walkway?
Do you want me to help with your bag?
Do you want me to wait here with you?
I then saw that Joe had parked in such a way that I'd never be able to get in. I waved to him to roll down the window. I said to him, " Just pull down there and I'll meet you there," and I indicated a vacant space that we could use. Joe didn't hear me and indicated so.
"Oh, do you want me to get a message to him? I can run back and forth?"
That did it, I started to laugh. He was mocking himself. It was like he knew better and had slipped up. He wanted me to have a good impression of who he was.
I told him that I'd be fine but thanked him for the laugh.
"We're good then?" he said.
"We're good." I answered.
I raised my voice so Joe could hear me, he saw where I was indicating and pulled the car away. I then headed down to meet him.
This was an extraordinary experience for me. This young fella was worried about what I thought of him, most of the needless helpers are performing because they want the approval of others and I'm just their prop. Here, I mattered.
He wanted to be held in my good opinion.
And, he is.