I’m not one of those people that can talk to a brick wall. I’d rather just sit and look at the wall. I can’t start up a conversation with a stranger, and I’m not big on crowds, they make me nervous. But people fascinate me. I’m definitely a people watcher. An observer.
Tonight my husband and I decided to brave the pre-holiday crowds at Walmart because we needed toilet paper. When we saw the parking lot, I told him just to drop me off at the front door, and I’d ‘run in’. I made it to the toilet paper aisle and back up to the check out area pretty quick. But that’s where I got stuck. I was debating between the ‘self-check’ lanes, and the ‘express’ lanes. The self-check is always a gamble. It could go quick, unless someone is checking out some sort of produce, something really lightweight, or someone who is also talking on their cell phone as they’re checking out (DON”T GET ME STARTED ON THAT). Or someone with a lot of coupons. But, there were 4 self-check’s open, and only 2 express, both with long lines. So I stood there for a minute studying the people in line to see if they looked like lollygaggers, studying what items they had, analyzing my best route for a quicker escape.
I finally decided on the express line, and just as I got into the back of the line, the lady turned her light off. There was a man standing right in front of me, who had apparently been watching me, and said, “It’s hard to pick a line, huh.” At this point, I kind of panic. The whole ‘having a conversation with strangers thing’. Reference paragraph one. So I say something in agreement to his statement, and then mention that she turned off her light so I think I’ll go to the next line. But he informs me that I was already in line when she turned off her light, so she has to check me out, that’s the way he looks at it anyway, so I should just stay in line. And I do. And in the roughly 7 minutes that I’m in line, he proceeds to tell me about his night, and I thought I would share it with you all. It went something like this…
He had actually just come from the mall, which was crazy because it was even more crowded than Walmart, but he got really lucky because he knew what store he wanted to go to, so he picked the door that he thought was closer, he parked by the food court and went in and went down the escalator and the store was just right there so he got in and got what he wanted and got out fairly quick and he did good because he got the 4th parking spot in the row, so it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, and normally he wouldn’t have gone to the mall at this time of year, but he has a 13 year old daughter who has only been talking about this one thing that she really wanted, and she’s had a hard time this because he and his wife got divorced and it’s been really hard on her, so he really wanted to get this one thing for her, and it’s that open hearts necklace that Jane Seymore talks about on the TV, and she’s just been talking so much about it, so he went in to get it for her, and he looked at the kids version and it was only about this much smaller than the adult version (he estimated the difference in size with his fingers) so he decided to go ahead and get her the adult version because she could wear it longer, and then the salesman talked him into getting the matching earrings, and she’s at the age right now where she’s really into dangly earrings and so these are good because they’re sterling silver, and the part that goes through your ear is a little sterling silver ball, and then the open heart part hangs down, so he’s excited because she’s going to have a really good Christmas, and then he decided to stop into Walmart because he needed to get some snacks because he’s on this new diet where he’s trying to cut out sugar, and so he found that he really likes this particular kind of frozen fruit and he gets the cherries and the pineapples, and the cherries are good but the pineapples are especially good and they’re all natural with no extra sugar so he’s really glad that he found something like that.
And then he asked me something about how I was able to get my Mom to just drop me off at the front door.
Yall don’t know this about me, but I look a lot younger than I am. When people guess my age they usually guess about 6-9 years younger than I am. And so when I’m out by myself, I often get things like that. I’ve even had people call on the phone and ask to talk to my parents. AND I HATE THAT!!! It’s one of my pet peeves. Or when somebody calls me ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’. Oh my, that gets me riled up. But of course I never say anything. And I know that I live in the South and that’s just what people say down here, and they usually don’t mean anything by it, but it just gets me really worked up. And it’s hilarious when I’m out with my husband and someone calls me one of those names because he knows how mad it makes me, but I just smile, and he gets such a kick out of it. ANYWAY, sorry for that tangent.
So, that was my adventure at Walmart tonight. If that man happens to read this, I really enjoyed your story and Merry Christmas!