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There’s a J.P. Licks ice cream shop in Coolidge Corner that Hanna and I stop at on our way home from work or school. The weather being what it is, we haven’t been in there for a while, but on Wednesday we stopped in for a pint of their egg nog ice cream to go with the gingerbread we made earlier this week. One of the guys who’s been working there for a while, whom I know by sight but not by name, was behind the counter. We were considering our ice cream options and I said something to the effect of “what sounds good to you?” and gave Hanna a kiss on the cheek, just as the guy asked if we were ready to order.

“Sorry,” Hanna said, for failing to respond to his question immediately (we were both tired and distracted, having just come from the computer lab where we’d printed out five copies of her 130-page thesis; that’s a solid ream of paper folks!).

“No need to apologize for public displays of affection,” he told us, as he packed our ice cream container.

“Oh, no,” Hanna responded, “I was just apologizing for my inability to use the English language!”

On the one hand, it seemed a little intrusive for him even to mention the fact I’d kissed her. But if he thought Hanna was apologizing for my actions, I think he was kind of him to let us know he wasn’t offended. I know plenty of people in the world who would have been. (Sad, but true). Not that I spend my time wandering around wondering what the world thinks of my PDA behavior (well, I admit, if I got the sense we were being criticized I’d probably have to quell the urge to be even more outrageous). All the same, I think it was a well-intentioned comment.

So thank you, Mr. J.P. Lick’s man, for saying what you did. It was sweet.

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