Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Moment of Pure Grace
I went to Blockbuster this evening. If there's anything more mundane, more quotidian in modern America, I'd be hard pressed to figure what it is (buying gas? eating lunch? -Ed.). I pull into a parking space and as I'm getting out of my car - with my bad hip, this is not a quick action I assure you - a sweet, big, electric blue pick'em'up truck pulls into a space near mine. And as I start my slow, halting progress toward the door, the woman who drove the truck passes me and says "Hi." This is unusual. Modern America teaches us, especially women methinks, to be circumspect around strangers. But being charitable and cautious, I said something on the order of "That's a nice truck." To which she replies, "I love my truck!" And I say "I don't doubt that for a second."
Strange. An actual conversation in the agora between strangers. Keeping in mind, for those who've never had the pleasure of meeting me (I figure somebody I don't know must read this), I am not such a specimen that I would be hit on by women previously unknown to me. Anyway, I figured it was a pleasant moment and continued toward the door. Rounding the corner of the building, the woman with whom I spoke was holding the door for me. And she was quite a lovely brunette. I thanked her for holding the door and picked up my pace as best I could. She said that she thought people moved too fast these days anyway. I said I was doing my part to keep the average down. Now, I'm really off balance. This stranger would have to be the sweetest person I've had the pleasure of meeting in public for .. well, since I can't remember when.
So into the vid racks I go. Shrek 2 (what a fantastic movie - 5 stars in the Movie Dog food bowl) and, on a whim, The Magdalene Sisters. As I am picking up the latter, my mystery woman picks up whatever it was she was looking for in VHS, saying to me, "Not everyone has DVD." And I say, "But you will." And we both head to the checkout. She is held up as her account has been 'put on hold' for some reason neither she nor the counter guy knew. It seems something done at another branch was the problem and they couldn't access such information at the branch we were in.
I'm usually a pretty patient line-waiter though if somebody is wasting time, I will do a slow burn. In this case, I'm thinking I'll wait here for this lovely lady as long as she wants to deal with this problem. Still, as if on cue, she turns to me and apologizes for making me wait. Oh, I assure you! It's not a problem.
Counter guy calls manager chick who looks at the situation as displayed on the checkout screen, approves the transaction and moves to another register to check me out. Thank you, manager chick. As I'm passing this new paragon of feminity (full disclosure - she did say to the counter guy that the problem might be something "he" did - sigh!), she asks what I'm renting, I tell her and she seems, well, delighted. A foreign flick and an animated neo-classic. Heck, even I'm thinking I must be a nice guy. I pay and then walk out the door immediately behind her, and again she holds it open for me. And we talk all the way (make that "all the way" since it was a very short walk) to the cars and for the life of me I couldn't tell you what we said. But I had some grocery coupons in my car that I wasn't planning to use so asked her if she wanted them. She said yes, I gave them to her. She asked me what my the vanity plate on my car meant and I gave her the 2 cent explanation. Taking the coupons she said "Bless you!" I said, "God bless you!" She told me her name. I told her mine. We shook hands. She got in her beautiful blue truck. I scrunched into my Outback and knew that if I were to remain sane, I'd best just forget her name and hold this amazing moment in memory.
So I did. And now I've blogged it.

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