A Different Kind Of Close Encounter

| Working | February 6, 2015

(It’s near closing time and I have been chatting with the associate as she rings up my clothing. Note that I’m an astrophysicist and have mentioned this earlier in the conversation.)

Sales Associate: “Can I ask you something, honestly?”

Me: *warily* “…sure?”

Sales Associate: “Do you believe in aliens?”

Me: “Um, well, it’s really unlikely that we’re the only form of life in the whole universe, but I don’t really believe we could be, you know, visited by any other life form. I mean, the universe is a really big place and they come here to leave crop circles? Hah!”

Sales Associate: *looking around* “Well it’s just that I have always had a special connection with aliens wherever I go. Here you go!” *she hands me my bags*

Me: “Oh. Okay! Thanks! We’ve got to get going now. I mean, it’s quite late.”

(I begin making my way to the door; my sisters are already heading out, having heard the conversation. The sales associate comes out from behind the counter and follows me.)

Sales Associate: “I used to live in New Mexico and I saw these lights this one time. And now that I’m here I’ve had quite a few experiences.”

Me: “Well, I am sure that you’ve had experiences that are super special to you. That’s fantastic. As to whether or not they were aliens, well, it’s all in what you believe.”

(She seizes my hand.)

Sales Associate: “You are absolutely right. Yes, thank you. You’re the first person to believe me.”

Me: *inching away and trying to not rip my hand from her grasp* “Well, as long as you believe it yourself, that’s what is important. I mean, it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes, what I believe.”

Sales Associate: *finally letting me go* “Yes! Thank you so much. Okay, you have a good day now! Thank you! Thank you for believing in me!”

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