Saturday, August 8, 2009

Vanilla Wafers and Alcohol

I ventured out yesterday morning to do a few errands - post office, book store, grocery store. Nothing too unusual.

The post office, which is usually a horror, wasn't too terrible. (I had to mail a package to Diggy and Bertie. tee hee!)

The book store was wonderful (can they be anything but?). I am in search of inspiration, and went straight to the magazine rack. My bedroom needs a makeover, and while I've had an idea of what I wanted to do for the past year or two, I never did it. Now I'm so over it and ready for something different anyway. I picked up a couple of magazines, hopped back in the car and checked post office and book store off my list.

Then on to the grocery store. Not the store I usually go to, but one a little farther out of the way because they have things that I can't find elsewhere (like dried lavender for baking, anisette cookies, etc.). It was midmorning and fairly quiet, and I figured I'd sneak in and out rather quickly. I had a pretty short list.

I'm not one who usually attracts, or likes to attract for that matter, a lot of attention to myself. In fact there have been times when I have been virtually invisible (more on that in some future post). But something was different yesterday because practically everyone I ran into felt the need to engage in conversation with me.

First, there was a young Hispanic man stocking tortillas on the shelves at the end of one of the aisles. He had a stack of large plastic trays piled up on the floor. Though they weren't in the way at all, I was reaching over them to take something off the shelf adjacent to them. He saw me reaching, pointed to the trays and asked me something which I didn't understand. He repeated himself and although I still didn't understand every word, I got what he was asking me (or at least I think I did): "Are you using these?" What? Why on earth would I be using them? I smiled, said no, and went on about my business.

Down the next aisle there was an old lady (yes, a little old lady) and a young, maybe early teenage, girl shopping together. I took them to be grandmother and granddaughter. "Grandma" stopped, touched my arm, and told me she was having the darndest time finding vanilla wafers, and asked me if I might know where they were. She explained that she wanted to make a pudding and needed them to make it. I told her that I knew they were there somewhere. About that time I glanced down the aisle and the granddaughter was reaching up to the top shelf grabbing a yellow box. Success! I said, "There. See? She found them." "Grandma" chuckled and thanked me, although I'm not sure what for. I laughed, and I was invited over to her house for pudding.

A couple of cans of soup and a few minutes later, I ran into an old friend from work who is retired. He is a real sweetheart, but has the same story to tell anytime I run into him. Times are hard, he could probably use a job, but nothing's working out. I mentioned a couple of possibilities that he could look into. His replies were, "Well, you know, that Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 . . ." and "a lot of responsibility, I'm just not sure." And when I mentioned a potential part-time gig, "Well, you know, things aren't that bad yet." Funny, I'd been thinking the same thing since one of the few items in his cart was a big bottle of whiskey. Still, it was good to see him.

And, finally, while I stood looking at new cupcake pans, a neatly dressed elderly Hispanic looking gentleman picked up a couple of oval aluminum roasting pans and asked me, "Do you think my feet will fit in this?" I was polite and answered, "Yes, I'm sure they will." And then he asked, "What should I use? Alcohol of some kind?" Me, "For your feet?" Him, "Yes." Me, "I would use epsom salts." Him, "Ep(something something) salts?" Me, "Yes." Him, "Okay. Thank you." And off he went.

While I was beginning to think I'd entered some other realm or dimension without knowing it, I decided not to question the day at all. I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at any given moment. For some reason, either those folks needed me, or I needed them, for reasons I may never know. And I'm good with that.


  1. I think that was a "twilight zone" moment you had... like you said why question it?
    have a good weekend :)

  2. I like the man who is going to soak his feet in a roasting pan with alcohol.....which do you think? Rubbing alcohol or vodka?
    P.S. I'm an epsom salts girl, myself.

  3. Did you feel like you were floating or out of your body? :)

  4. Sometimes I have a stamp on my forehead that says "please talk to me". Maybe you borrowed my stamp yesterday. I love that you were invited over for pudding though. Don't older folks just know how to do things right? It's like I automatically assume someone is going to make me live in a hole leading to the basement if I were to invite a stranger into my home but they remember the simple times when you wouldn't really worry about that sort of thing. Great day.

  5. Isn't that how it goes when you just wanna be invisible? Maybe that's when people feel like they should engage us! Now I need to know...did you go over for pudding?

  6. Well, the stamp on MY head says, "Tell me the things you cannot bring yourself to tell your therapist OR your priest." I mean, what the...???

    And at the store, I do get older folks who mistake me for staff and I just go ahead and help them, thinking, "What if that had been my sister or my mom? Or one day -- gulp! -- ME."

    Still, I get the deal about invisibility. You can always go the Cheshire Cat route and smile smile smile as you vacate the premises... one bit at a time.
    Take care!
    Candace in Athens.

  7. That's one of those days where you must have wondered if you were sleep walking...

  8. You should have introduced them to each other and just sat back and watched!!!!

  9. Your aura must have been HUGE and just drawing everyone to you like moths to a flame!


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