Tuesday, April 8, 2014
my chat with an over-sharer at target
Today, Duke and I took one of our weekly trips to Target. Many days, I fit the stay-at-home-mom-in-yoga-pants-who-goes-to-Target-often bill perfectly. Although we don't always purchase things on every trip, it's a good place to look around. We do this so often that Duke even requested today that we "go look around at Target." Raisin' this kid up right.
We leisurely grabbed what we needed and then headed to the check out line. A nice, 60ish year old lady in front of us began talking to Duke. She was really into him - like patting his back and getting really close into him. But she wasn't creepy, so I didn't mind.
But then came the over-sharing.
"My daughter and her husband waited 16 years to have a baby and it wasn't because they weren't trying. It just wasn't happening. We all think it's because he was an avid bicycler."
Her purchases were now taken care of and it was my turn. I figured she'd head out to her car and get on with her day. However, she stuck around until I paid for my things. So here we are, walking out of Target together. And I should mention, this lady had a very interesting way of talking. Her eyes blinked over and over non-stop, and her mouth constantly chewed her gum with every word she spoke. Her voice also had this weird pulsating, glottal-attack thing going on too. Anyway, that's what we're dealing with here.
She somehow transitioned from her son-in-law's supposed inability to have children to the topic of her height.
"I would always get made fun of as a child for my height. In fact, one time a police officer stopped me and tried to have me arrested because he thought I was a gay man. He didn't believe I was a woman until I showed him my license."
At this point, you can imagine what's going on in my head. Also, what am I supposed to say? What could I possibly respond with? So I stuck with the tall thing.
"Well, I'm a tall girl too so I can see where you're coming from."
"Oh, well you're not as tall as me!"
I was confused by this comment since I am literally looking her straight in the eyes. We are both the exact same height and maybe, just maybe, she could be a half of an inch taller. Maybe.
I start to move my cart in the direction of the exit. She walks with me and continues on.
"And it didn't help that I never really had any breasts until I became a mother. See, I breastfed both of my children. But I don't know why I never really had breasts because my mom had very large breasts."
My response generator was broken at this point.
Thankfully, we were finally at a point where it made sense for me to say, "Well, it was nice talking with you. Have a great rest of the day!" And off she went.
She was a sweet lady who was also quite the character. You all would have thought so too. And while I was weirded out, I was glad to be a listener for her today. Maybe she just needed to bounce some stories off of someone. Maybe it'd been awhile since someone had given her a few minutes of their time. Who knows?
Also, isn't it wonderful/annoying how pregnant bellies and kids alike bring us mothers into the oddest of situations? I believe it's a unique phase in life in which everyone just automatically opens up to us about who-knows-what and feels totally comfortable doing it. While it can be strange at times, it's kind of neat. I'm not trying over-spiritualize this whole deal, but I think it's sweet that the God-given gifts of mothering and child-carrying almost force us to wear this "talk to me about anything" sign on our forehead. You never know what kinds of conversations you may end up in. And you never know whose day you may make.