My senior neighbor does not have a car. Shortly after I moved in I realized that she walked once per week the half mile to Wal-Mart, bought her groceries, then wheeled them home in her little folding cart. Being a good neighbor I now drive her to and from the store once per week. Having me and my car at her disposal should have widened her shopping horizons, but she wishes to go only to the Super Wal-Mart. Period. So, that is where I took her tonight.
I have a certain “look” about me. I don’t exactly know what it is, but I know I have it because people come and ask me the strangest things. I was waiting for Joan as she compared packages of hamburger and this woman walked up to me (I was wearing shorts, a yellow t-shirt and flip-flops). She said, “Tomorrow is my son’s birthday,” and she pointed at a young man about 10. “He has asked for steak for his birthday and I have never purchased steak. What should I buy?” I directed her to the butcher. She responded, “Oh no. I don’t want to bother him.” I told her, “Ma’am, I don’t work here.” She said, “That’s just rude. I’m reporting you to the manager!”
Joan and I moved on to dairy goods. A lady in a motorized wheel chair rolled up to me. “Excuse me,” she said. I respond to her while smiling brightly and anticipating being asked to hand something down from a shelf. Instead she says, “I’ve lost my tall husband. Have you seen him?” There are many things I want to respond to this query. None of them seem appropriate. Finally, valiantly restraining my grin, I say, “Ma’am, I have no idea what your husband looks like.” She snaps back, “I just told you he’s tall. What are you, stupid?”
Apparently so. I keep acknowledging people in Wal-Mart when they speak to me.
And a Bit of Sweet Brandi:
My adorable nine year-old friend, Brandi (she’s been in my Sunday School class since she was 4), came to school with me and worked very hard helping not just me, but several other teachers as well. In my classroom Brandi was using 409 and paper towels to clean a book case. I sat at a nearby table creating components for my bulletin board display. One small drop of overspray landed on my purple paper. I said to Brandi, “Will you look at this? You have ruined my paper.”
Brandi looks at my paper and raises her nine year-old eyebrows at me. “It will dry,” she says.
I respond, “What if it doesn’t? What if it’s ruined?”
Shaking her head. “I’m telling you, it will dry.”
“I don’t think it’s going to dry, and I don’t think you care about my pretty paper. I am going to just sit here and cry.”
“Okay,” she says. “But you’re just going to get the rest of it wet, too.”