As previously mentioned here on AinW, there are only a handful of places to “go” in my new hometown: no movies, no mall, no Kirkland’s (gloom, despair, and agony on me!), no Cold Stone (agony on the Diva).
What we do have, in addition to the Wal-Mart (cutie Fall decorations!), the garbage dump, the Krystal’s, and the gospel singin’ at the McDonald’s, is a Lowe’s.
It’s in the Top Ten.
I have never been in any store where the employees are so knowledgeable and friendly. They practically fall all over themselves to help the Diva and me when we’re in there, and I’ve never asked for something that the employee didn’t know its precise location.
I highly recommend Lowe’s.
However, once, I had a “situation”.
The other day, I needed to return some things, which Big Daddy had purchased, to Lowe’s. I had been to the Wal-Mart (natch!), had a car-load of groceries (milk, ice cream, et al included) and was on my way home. My plan was to run into Lowe’s, return what I had (the return counter’s right in the front door), get my money, get the heck out, and go home to put away my groceries.
I live in the land that “hurry” forgot.
I enter with my bag of return items and the Diva in tow. Return Lady smiles at me. I feel welcomed. Then, she proceeds to stare at the “front” of me. I feel awkward. The Diva begins to fidget.
The Diva, as it turns out, is a prophet. She can prophesy when we are about to get into one of our “situations”. I’m thinking of having her name legally changed to Isaiah or Jeremiah. Maybe Malachi or Obadiah. I like the minor prophets.
Return Lady begins to process the return, then looks at the “front” of me again. More awkwardness. More fidgeting. This happens about 3 or 4 times.
Here’s the rest of the story (I can’t make this stuff up):
Return Lady (heretofore referred to as RL): Is there really a Christian Cross Country?
RL: Your shirt. Is there really a Christian Cross Country?
I look at my own “front” and notice that I am wearing a t-shirt that says, in fact, Christian Cross Country.
Me: Yes. (I’m thinking: the ice cream’s melting.)
RL: Is that around here? Christians are just running around?
Me: No. (BIG sigh! Milk’s in the car!) We just moved here from San Diego. There, I was one of the principals at a school called Christian High School. The cross country coach, also the Spanish teacher, gave me a shirt so I could support their team.
The return process has completely been shut down. At this point, if I could have, I would have shot my own pinky toe right off.
RL: I just met another lady from San Diego.
Me: Yes, that’s XXXXX. She and her husband recently moved here too. He’s the basketball coach at the college up the road. He was the basketball coach at the college on the campus where I worked in San Diego. Small world.
RL: Do you work at the college?
Me: Huh? Uh, no.
RL: He was the basketball coach at the high school in San Diego, and you were the cross country coach, right?
Me: Do I look like a cross country coach (points to self like the Mayhem guy on the Hot Jogger commercial)? He was the basketball coach at the college, and I was one of the principals at the high school.
RL: Oh, what was the name of the school?
Me: Christian High School.
RL: Is that a Christian school or a public school?
I think, Jesus, take me now. Elizabeth, I’m comin’ to join ya? Oh, nevermind.
The Diva takes one, giant step back without so much as a “Mother May I?”
Here’s the thing: apparently, God is working on my ability to speak graciously and patiently to those with whom I come into contact. I get that, and I’m doing better.
No, really, I am. I didn’t even roll my eyes in front of her. I didn’t sigh. Out loud.
However, I ask, do we really need to work on this when there’s ice cream at stake?