My freshman year was one of the most trying years of my life. I learned a lot about myself; learned a lot about life. For example, I learned that no one is smart enough at eight a.m. for Calculus 2. I learned that Smash Bros is one of the only games that makes buying a new Nintendo console worth it. And it is really worth it.
One of the funniest memories I have from my freshman year comes from a woman named Soo. Soo was the cashier at the Union, and once you got all of the food you were going to eat for the meal, Soo rang up your total and swiped your card. She was hilarious and kind, and I missed her over the Summer.
It may sound odd, missing someone I only dealt with for about four minutes a day. Someone I never introduced myself to, but I did.
Soo is the real MVP. She gets paid to stand for hours at a time, interacting with students that often do not thank her. One fateful afternoon, I was going through the cashier’s line. I was the last person in line, meaning that once I was helped, Soo could sit down and rest for a while. She eventually worked her way through the line, expertly ringing up all of the various possible combinations of burgers, chicken sandwiches, drinks, and cookies. She worked all the way up to me.
Please allow me to set the scene. I am the freshman that represents the end of the lunch rush. Soo is tired, maybe even a little cranky (she didn’t show it though), and just wants to sit for a few minutes to give her taxed feet a rest. I walk up to the cashier’s counter, which is hidden among wooden decorations to make it seem less like a cashier’s counter. She rings up my food and turns to me with a look of incredulity that I will never forget.
She then asked me, in all seriousness, “Pizza and Milk?!?”
I responded, “Of course!”
All Soo could do was chuckle.
I was getting what must have been the weirdest thing she had dealt with all day. The days afterward, Soo and I got closer, our conversations becoming more than just what I was eating for that meal. I would ask how she was doing that day; she would tell me that she was doing well.
This story doesn’t have a lesson. This is just a story of two people coming together to share a funny moment with each other. Soo and I never got coffee, never introduced each other as our friend, but we both had a better day because she brought to life the simple humor inherent in having a lunch made up of pizza and milk.
Sometimes, the best jokes don’t have a punchline.