Dear Local Bodega Man,
Thank you for everything you do. To shooting the shit, giving me “I feel sorry for you” discounts, showing genuine concern, and just generally not judging me… it is all really appreciated trust me. No fruit basket, or Edible Arrangement (plus, I’m still unsure if you would rather appreciate the simple dipped fruit, or a general variety type. Will be more attentive) can accurately portray the gratitude I have towards you, Local Bodega Man. Let’s start with the shooting the shit part. You know in those movies, okay, by movies I mean Sex and the City, where the girl, okay, by girl I mean Carrie Bradshaw, has an internal monologue and is like “In a big city like New York full of xmillion people, you can feel so alone” or something along those general lines? It has some truth to it. Sometimes you want someone to talk to you, or to just listen to. You, Local Bodega Man, both tell me about your life – your random cousins (are they American? do they live over seas? I’m not sure), sometimes your kids – and listen to my rants about how I prefer to buy sorbet because when I eat regular ice
cream like Ben & Jerrys the dairy hurts my stomach. Or remember that one time we went into detail about the guy I was currently dating? That was fun. I know I’ll always have you in my corner, Local Bodega Man.
Moving onto the “I feel sorry for you” discounts. Granted, this is the upside to making friends with your Local Bodega Man, because after hearing your life story, they sometimes pity you, and WILL let you have that bag of chips fo’ free, or they’ll see you sadly rummaging through your bag for a quarter, two nickels, and three pennies to complete your payment for a pack of gum and he’ll just let you have it “on him”. Thanks, Local Bodega Dude. You can always seem to tell when I’m in a pinch (which is usually). I promise to never take advantage of that.
Onto the showing genuine concern part. When I come to your bodega after a particularly long night / rough night / long day of drinking etc. I usually will resort to a bag of Hot Cheetos – which is my indicator to you that I will be dying a slow and painful death in my bed. When you see me in sunglasses, or with glasses on, or dressed in shorts and flipflops you laugh a bit to yourself (I’ve seen it, Local Bodega Man. It’s fine though), but then proceed to ask how my night was and if I’m sure I don’t want to grab a water with that. Sometimes though, when I don’t visit your bodega in awhile and come in after a week or two, you’ll say “I haven’t seen you in awhile! Is everything going okay?” – I’m not sure if this is to imply I haven’t seen you in awhile! Did you finally dig yourself out of that mess of a hole youre in? One thing is for sure, if I were a victim in Law&Order SVU and neither my roommates nor friends knew where I had been the past few days, you, Local Bodega Man, would give the detectives all the clues they needed, “Yeah, she came in hung over to buy a bagel about a day ago, wearing sunglasses, flip flops, shorts and a tank top. I haven’t seen her in awhile and its not normal for her.” I know you’ll always have my back Local Bodega Man.
Last, but not least, thank you for generally not judging me. Your bodega (actually, all bodega/delis in general) are a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE… my kind of place. I can come in to buy a block of sharp cheddar cheese, and come in the very next day and buy another block of sharp cheddar cheese and we both know it, and you don’t judge me. Clearly I come in at my worst times: Running to work (read: late to work), the morning after all hungover, while drunk, etc. And you never judge me. When I’ve come in inebriated, you don’t down talk to me. You talk to me like I’m a regular sober person. Likewise, when I come in the morning after, looking like the Olson sisters after a week long bender, you don’t judge me, because you know I’m patronizing your humble bodega and you love me.
And I love you Local Bodega Man (like a philia/brotherly love of course). It’s really nice to know that if I were stuck in a ditch in the Meatpacking District, that at least you, Local Bodega Man, would notice after a few days. Thanks for everything.
Your Favorite Patron
NEXT UP: “A Thank You letter to My Local Liquor Store Owner”