Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Barbara

I went to BJs after work today to get some grocery items that I normally get from there. It is not uncommon for there to be a variety of sample booths and at one of them was an elderly gent pawning off samples of bacon. I chatted with him jokingly telling him that he should be the most popular cat in the place giving away free bacon. He replied with a bit of a sour puss seeming genuinely upset that he wasn't. Just across the aisle, there was an elder lady offering samples of peanut butter sandwich crackers and she has convinced yet another elder lady to try one. I got in the mix explaining to the sampler that there was a kind old chap across the aisle offering free bacon and he's feeling a bit down. I encouraged the lady to go over and have a sample and chat him up for a bit, that it would surely make him feel better - she smiled and agreed to go over after her chat with cracker lady.

As I went about my way, I looked across the aisle and gave the bacon guy a thumbs up to which he smiled (that made me smile). Many minutes and aisles later, I was perusing some ridiculous item of so little importance that I no longer recall what it was but while doing so, I felt a shopping cart graze my bottom quite harshly. I turned to find it was none other than the peanut butter sandwich cracker sampler who immediately grabbed my arm apologetically and with great concern and emotion asked if I was alright and apologized.

Her and I began chatting, she introduced herself as Barbara. She was impressed that I worked at the college and taught computers and was full of questions about technology. We chatted for a few minutes and then I went toward my wagon assuming ample time had passed to alleviate her guilt for crashing into my rear but she just carried on with the conversation. I really was not in a rush and I sense that this woman, who I would guess to be at least deep into her 70's, really wanted someone to talk to and keep her company. I took a nosy gander into her shopping cart and it seemed evident she might be in this cavernous market more for the idea of being around people (and free samples) than in dire need of bulk sized products. I couldn't leave her, I stuck around and we chatted for a good 10-15 minutes before she seemed to realize that it might be a good idea to move on.

At first, I just carried on down my aisle but a few seconds later, I realized there was a powerful moment that had happened.

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