Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Today I am grateful for conversations with strangers. I drove the get-a-way car today when we ran errands, sending himself for the one item we needed from several places. At one of our stops I had the windows down because it was gorgeous outside. I was texting someone when I saw this lady come out of the CVS.
She was wearing beautiful aqua-colored pants and a sweater that matched, along with perfectly coordinated clip-on earrings. The whole get-up set off her cotton-white hair and bright pink lips. She walked right past my window, so of course I spoke to her.
Me: Ma’am you look fantastic in that outfit.
Her: Everybody loves aqua.
Me: Maybe. But you look great anyway.
Her: I live at Elm Terrace and I get voted “best dressed” every year.
Me: I know someone at Elm Terrace.
Her: If they’re not rich I don’t want to know them.
Me: Not rich, probably, so never mind.
Her: I come from a family of eleven kids. We had nothing. I swore when I could afford it I’d have nice clothes.
Me: Well you sure do look nice.
Her: I buy everything at Care & Share. (A thrift store – She laughs and hauls out an old magazine clipping with a picture on it.) Do you know who this is? (She jams it through the car window.)
Me: Um, Tammy Faye Baker?
Her: Nope, guess again.
Me: Is that you?
Her: No, one more time.
Me: I have no clue.
Her: It’s Norma Zimmer! Betcha don’t remember Norma Zimmer do you?
Me: Of course, I do. The Lawrence Welk Show. She was one of my dad’s favorites.
Her: Yup, well I used to sing with her. I was a gospel singer but I’m retired now for a few years. But I got an award when I retired.
Me: That’s fantastic. Well you have a great day.
Her: Yup, I always do. I’m planning on going up to Heaven and tellin’ my husband that I’m glad I married him. . .
Me: That’s sweet.
Her: . . .cuz he had good insurance!
Me: (Both of us laughing) Good for him. And you!
Her: (Putting a finger to the top of her nose.) Hmmmm, how old am I?
Me: I would never begin to guess.
Her: I’m between the age of Med-i-care and Men-don’t-care!
And she was off in a flurry of her own laughter. And mine. And all of this before Himself came out of the building. People who don’t have conversations with strangers have no clue what they’re missing. It’s fun to be someone’s straight guy. “Goodnight Gracie.” BING! Heartprint!