A few weeks ago, I was in the airport, headed to New Jersey. It was a typical rush, rush, rush morning.
Grab the bags, trudge through traffic, hunt for a parking space, follow the herd, wade through security, dash to the gate.
Folks aren’t usually very friendly in airports.
Eyes look straight ahead. Purposed feet slap the floor. Overstuffed bags roll behind.
It’s not that people are grumpy. They’re just “flatish.” (That’s a new word for today.)
On this particular morning, I looked just like everyone else. “Flatish.”
Before settling in at my gate, I decided to make one last trip to the restroom. I’m so glad I did. It was one of the most joy-filled places I had been in a long time.
Gretchen, the “hostess” for this privy, donned a silly little hat on her head with whimsical feathers waving about the top. If it wasn’t for the official attendant’s vest she was wearing, I might have thought she was on her way to Mardi Gras.
With a spray bottle in one hand and a cloth in the other, Gretchen welcomed each “guest” into her “home.”
A woman in a green jacket exited a stall and Gretchen swooped in behind her.
Squirt, squirt squirt with the disinfectant.
Wipe, wipe, wipe with her cloth.
“Right this way, madam,” she motioned to the next person in line, “This one is ready for you! Come right in!”
With all the poise of a Valet opening the castle doors for a person of honor, Gretchen welcomed each woman as if she were the most important person in her day.
I stood back and watched as this 5 foot 5 inch bundle of joy wiped off toilet seats and cheerfully invited her next guest into the pristine stalls.
Gretchen had an effervescent sense of joy…wiping toilet seats. It seemed to come from a deep-seated heart of gratitude.
And it spilled over to every single woman who left her station.
Women entered weary and worn and left with a skip in their step and a smile on their face. Some even lingered…as if they wanted to soak in just a little bit more before facing the world.
But I don’t think the “tips” were for wiping the germs away from the toilet seats, but for wiping the doldrums away from their hearts.
And for some strange reason, I just wanted to give Gretchen a hug.
She didn’t mind.
Gretchen reminded me just how contagious gratitude and joy can be. And how desperately I want to be a carrier.
Leave a comment and tell me 5 things you are grateful for today. I’ll randomly pick 2 comments to receive a Starbucks gift card…because I am grateful for you!