And then there was Wal-Mart
I awoke this morning with purpose! I was going to knock out the remainder (I just said ‘re-reindeer’ in my head after I typed that – I’m so goofy with holiday spirit right now) of my holiday shopping, be home by noon and clean the house.
The way I actually woke was to Butters standing over me like Clifford the Dog – towering with unrelenting eyeballs on me. I had intended to be out of the house by 8:30, maybe sleep in a little. Afterall, it is Saturday. I had hit the snooze (alarm is set at 6 a.m. even on the weekends) only once. But, Ok. She must need to go out …
Nope. The minute I got up, she curled back up into an adorable normal sized dog ball and I stood glaring at her with half-opened eyes and my ‘really?!?’ face. I’d been had.
But up I was.
I forewent the shower – splashed water on my face, brushed my teeth – grabbed a cup of coffee, threw on a pair of jeans – a sweater and my Uggs, snagged my hair into a pony tail and put a little color on my lips since I would be in public. (I have seriously pale lips – wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was from The Walking Dead and bothering me for autographs whilst I was trying to shop.)
Ta Da! Time to get ‘er done.
I hit the road. And, every green light! It was amazing!
I gassed up the car, went to the bank and then onto my first stop.
Things were going well. Too well.
Then I got to Wal-Mart.
ANYWAY! I succeeded in filling my cart with only the items on my list, except for one.
I was in a certain aisle – and no employee was in sight.
I had taken a photo of a certain thing I needed (I can’t go into detail, it’s a gift for my mom and she reads this thing from time to time) – and was not finding it.
I saw a kindly looking old man …
I say ‘old’ but I’m such a poor judge of age anymore!
He was grey, and had glasses, and a checkered button up shirt and yeah, I’ll say it, ‘old man’ jeans on.
Bottom line, he seemed sweet and safe and kindly and harmless.
I asked him:
“Do you know much about **** <— secret thing”
“I know a little” he said.
Which, was more than I knew. So I showed him the photo of ‘the thing’.
“Oh, you need specialty … here, let’s look.”
Aw! How sweet was this guy??
We couldn’t find the item – and he suggested I find the guy in charge of this particular section. I agreed.
“OK, thank you so much!”
I walked away … and heard him say – “DAMN! That was the hottest thing I’ve seen in years!”
I don’t receive compliments well, even from the best intended … I could still see him walking up the aisle and looked to see who he was talking to. No one. No one was in the aisle. And the way he said it – wasn’t like a ‘Golly gee!’ type of tone.
I slunk away pushing my cart feeling like I’d just seen an older person do something perfectly normal but not. Because they’re older and we have this unreasonable expectation that they’re supposed to be all cookies and Ovaltine.
Well, I do anyway.
Besides, I was NOT hot. I wasn’t even luke warm. I told Nic about it when I got home and said, “take a photo of me not being hot so I can put it on my blog’
Here it is.
I hurried, as much as someone can across a football field length of Wal-Mart footage to the other end of the store and grabbed what I needed there.
I returned to the garden department area – stopping at the pet section – and …
“Oh, Hi Again!”
“Oh hi!” I said, with a smile. Inside I was feeling knots.
There he was.
And he suddenly didn’t look like someone safe and sweet and helpful.
I’m not joking here. My gut was sending out little red flags for some reason.
He followed me a bit. I chose the garden department to check out and kept looking over my shoulder.
It creeped me out. If I had spotted him watching me check out, I was going to ask the lady at the register to have an employee watch me get to my car.
And then in the car, I felt a little awful about it.
What if no one had spoken to him in a very long time? What if he wasn’t even buying ‘xxxx’ (<— secret things from the shop), but just wanted to be there with people? Needed interaction?
Bottom line though, is my gut is usually right, and I’ll assume I did the right thing with being a teensy bit concerned, AND with wondering if he just wanted some interaction – which I gave him.