Love is an action verb. I've heard this many times in the past, yesterday I had a chance to see it live and in person. During my break I wandered around the mall, not having a particular destination in mind I decided to see how far I could get before I had to start heading back to the store. It was cold in the mall, perhaps that's why I went into a clothing store that featured a down vest in the window. The store wasn't that busy, but there were two clerks helping out other customers so I had to wait in line to see if the vest I wanted was available in the size I needed, and the color I preferred. I was minding my own business, but couldn't help overhearing and observing the interactions unfolding before me. There was a man and a woman at the far end, in the middle was another woman, and a male customer. One of these sales was going well, the male clerk was smiling, the woman he was with was open and warm. The other sale did not appear to be going well at all. The man at the counter kept sniffling, I saw the female clerk hand him a box of tissues, but he waved them away. His body stance indicated that he was not real happy, but I didn't know why.
The woman waiting on him seemed to be distressed and solicitous, I couldn't hear her exact words, but the tone and her body language was enough. Idly I wondered if there was a problem with a return, it seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time to figure out whatever the problem was. All of a sudden the guy who was helping the woman went and stood next to his fellow employee. I took a step closer, interested in the drama, and praying for a solution. I heard the man behind the counter say that the customer owed $41.67, that kind of surprised me since I had assumed there was a return situation, maybe there was, and that was the difference he owed. Clarification is sometimes necessary during the sales process. Then I heard the guy say that if the customer wasn't going to pay it, he would. The expression on our faces was approximately the same, some combination of - did I just hear what I think I heard - along with the kind of respect and admiration you have for a person who is brave and bold enough to step up for another. Leadership from an unexpected source that made me so happy I wanted to pull them together in a big group hug.
When it looked like the woman behind the counter was going to burst into tears, the customer who had been difficult pulled out his credit card. That seemed to be the end of the altercation. While people were standing there, I started thinking, this is exactly what people mean when they talk about love being an action verb. While I doubt there was any real romantic interest between the two employees, I could have been wrong. That scenario made an impression on me. Love is still an action verb, and it was cool to have been there to see it doing its thing. I got the break I needed without the vest I wanted, it restored some of my faith in humanity, and it made me wonder why so many of us are unwilling to do what that guy did. There was an absolute conviction in his voice, and ultimately the customer complied. Hero worship is nothing new, it really made me think about the word love because I can't really think of any other way to adequately describe what took place at the mall that day. The next time someone tells me that love is an action verb, perhaps I'll ask them about the last time they saw that particular type of performance art.
P.S. This is a true story. Some details may have been altered. One may have love without sex, and sex without love. Intimacy is another factor. The questions I have will forever remain unanswered despite my attempts at discovery, but like I said earlier, love is an action verb.