This week I had a book signing at the UVU (Utah Valley University) Bookstore and what an experience! The store was PACKED with people--all there to meet me and buy my book.
Okay, so maybe not.
In actuality, it was the second day of school and students swarmed the aisles looking for textbooks. Lines were out the door. And because the store was so crowded, they placed me in the hallway, just outside. There was also a job fair going on and since construction had closed off a portion of the building, all the students/teachers/faculty/visitors, were funneled down the hallway where I sat. Talk about feeling silly and conspicuous.
It was crazy! But I did see a few people I knew (which is always nice), and two others that had actually read my first book, which was fun.
And then an adorable elderly gentleman stopped by. He wore glasses, his head was full of curly gray hair, and he smiled at me. When he saw my book, he asked, "Is this a childrens book?"
"It's actually a romantic comedy."
I'm not sure he heard me right because he said, "Oh, well my wife loves to read and she even writes childrens books. I think she'd love yours. She really likes pictures like that." He pointed to my cover. "What's it about anyway?"
After I explained the storyline, I figured he nod, smile, and walk away, but he surprised me. "I'm going to get this book for my wife. In fact, I have perfect timing because she's at a book club right now, so she will now need a new book when she gets home."
I laughed. How could I not? He was so sweet and I found myself wanting to adopt him.
While I signed the book, he pulled a couple of dollar bills from his wallet.
I could tell he was trying to pay me, so I pointed to the bookstore and told him he needed to buy it inside, but he could go through the "returns only" line so he wouldn't have to wait in line.
He must not have understood, because he looked at his money and realized it wasn't enough for the book. "I'll just run down to that ATM and be right back."
I tried to talk louder. "Actually, they want you to buy the book inside if that's okay."
He smiled and put his money back in his wallet. "Okay, I guess I'll do it your way."
Five minutes later he walked out of the bookstore waving the bag that held my book. "I did it! I bought your book and now I'm going tell my wife to tell her book club that they need to come here to buy their copies."
Yes, it was a brief encounter, but people like him leave their mark. Those who lift others by their kindness, their goodness, and their genuine happiness. It's a simple thing, really, but as as I watched him walk away, I knew he was someone I would never forget.