Friday, January 12, 2007

Grocery Lady

I must have a face that says, "She'll talk to you even if she has no idea what you are talking about". It happens to me all of the time.

I was standing in line at the deli counter at the grocery store. One of the good/bad things about Philadelphia is no one knows me. I can stand there in my pajamas if I want to and not have to worry about who sees me. I can stand there with a complete staring contest with the honey ham behind the glass. No one will notice me or bother me.

Well, the other day, this woman who was around 90 years old was having an in depth conversation with the deli guy about turkey and prices. I couldn't help hear. She was yelling. Then, she turns to me and makes eye contact. Oh no.

"She is going to start talking to me," I think to myself in a social panic. It is not that I don't like elderly people, but elderly people just do what they want. They don't care what your plans are. For example, I wanted to get my meat and get home because I was mildly starving.

As she starts talking to me about how she has been coming to this supermarket for 19 years, she grabs the completely off limit upper chub of my upper arm! She holds on for dear life as she asks me for directions to the Eckard Pharmacy across the street. Then, she tells me about how she has a pacemaker and is so close to the hospital if it quits working that she'll just walk on over.

At this point, I know I am bruising on the arm chub and the meat guy is showing me his angry face because I have the next number and three people are waiting for me to wrap it up with this woman. I give him the signal to take the next customer and I'd get a new number. Oh, boy! Then, she started telling me how young people are not polite anymore like me. I think she would have taken me home if I hadn't been slowly pulling away from her literal grasp.

Well, we wrapped up the one sided conversation and she was on her way. I felt bad for her more than anything. I am sure she was lonely and just wanted to talk to someone. I am glad I could be that person even if I had no choice.


Dana said...

It is nice that you lend an ear. I think I have that face too, or there is a stamp on my head that says "Speech Therapist: Will Talk to You." Because stuff like that happens to me all the time as well!
--Dana B.

pat said...


Not really, but when you were telling that story, I was picturing my grandmother. Odd, being that my grandmother was nothing like that, but whatever.