anne_mikolay_2012_120Just another Wednesday, doing the same old things, driving around under stormy skies, rain pouring down. It's damp, cold, bleak, depressing. Buckling under weekday monotony, I wait at the red light at the exit of Rite-Aid on Leonardville Road. A patch of green wiggling on the concrete island catches my eye. It's a young man beneath an umbrella.

He turns. In addition to his green rain slicker, he sports a green foam Statue of Liberty crown, the kind tourists wear in New York City. A sign, “Honk if you love Liberty Insurance,” hangs around his neck. I've never heard of Liberty Insurance, but watch the human advertisement with bemused curiosity.

The young man, about eighteen or twenty years of age, exuberantly dances, waving at cars, smiling, laughing while the rain steadily falls. I imagine this highly original salesman is a student earning a few extra bucks, or perhaps the employee who drew the short straw this morning and is now alone in the cold “selling” insurance. If he feels unlucky or put-upon, you would never know it. The Liberty representative is tackling his assignment with commendable gusto, having obvious, enviable fun.

Yes, enviable. Do I want to stand in the rain at a dangerous intersection with a sign hanging around my neck? Hardly. But I would like a hefty dose of the kid's youthful enthusiasm. Clearly, he is a glass-half-full kind of guy. I watch as he wiggles, dances, and does everything short of tap dance to amuse and seize the attention of passing drivers. Nobody responds, perhaps due to the rain or a literal reaction to the “Honk if you love Liberty Insurance” request. The young man is undeterred; his enthusiasm persists.

I smile.

I laugh.

This kid had a choice this morning. He could accept his unpleasant assignment and muddle through, or embrace the opportunity, seize the day, and make the best of it. Luckily for me, he chose the latter. He'll never know his spontaneous, uplifting performance made my day.

The light turns green. I make my turn, honk twice, and wave. He grins widely, points at my car, wiggles, and happily returns the greeting.

Clearly, the kid is a winner! You know what they say: “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.”

Keep dancing, kid! Keep dancing!