Sep 9, 2009

All sorts of odd things happen when you work retail. This may shock some, but not all customers have the sense of good taste and decorum that is a hallmark of the Merle Wayne Sneed blog and its readership. We have a customer who rain or shine, cold or hot, comes in to shop wearing only flip flops and the scantiest cutoffs imaginable. We call him the Nudist and we wish we had a no shirt-no service policy. Some speculate on how he keeps things in place with so little material. We have drunken customers, loud customers, ones that will tell you their tales of lives gone wrong, if you will listen. One guy has every inch of his visible body tattooed, including his face. Mad people, thieves, cheapskates, folks who smell, drug addicts who want to use the bathroom to shoot up, homeless people and visitors from another reality. You name it and if you spend enough time meeting enough people, you will see it all. And just when you think you've seen it all, you find you haven't. Two octogenarians snuggling, holding hands and exchanging furtive kisses in the aisle of our hardware store was one of the "hadn'ts", until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, one of our regulars, a stylish and well-dressed 80ish woman came in the store, as she often does. Already in the store, another 80-year-old, a man in coat and tie browsed leisurely. Their collective appearance alone made them notable, but as they say, we hadn't seen anything yet.. I was in the vicinity of their chance encounter. She was headed south in an aisle pushing a cart and he using a wheeled walker headed north in the same aisle. The limitations of width of the aisle brought both to a halt, cart nearly touching walker. I didn't hear exactly what the old man said at this chance meeting, but I heard the old lady say, "Oh, I've been widowed for 15 years, no one wants an old woman like me." I headed off, giving it not another thought. Perhaps fifteen minutes later, work brought me back into the area, on the next aisle, but across from them, out of sight, but within earshot. I heard a woman say, "Oh my, you're making me laugh." A man's voice responded, "Madam, my intention is not to make you laugh, it is to make your heart go pitter-patter." I ambled around the corner to confirm that it was the two oldsters. It was. I halfway expected the scene to morph into black and white and to find that the couple was in fact Tracy and Hepburn. Because the Sneed code of good taste and decorum dictates that gawking is inappropriate, I went on my way. A moment later, the assistant manager came by to tell me that love was in the air on aisle one. Pretty soon, the two, now dubbed Romeo and Juliet, had attracted the attention of everyone in the store and reports began to be exchanged between customers and employees. "They are holding hands." "Now they are on aisle two hugging." "Aw geez, they're kissing." "Oh my, he asked her to come home with him." This would seem like an invasion of their privacy if it were not for the fact that customers were having to squeeze by them to finish their shopping. And on it went for nearly three hours. From time to time they would take a few steps down or into the next aisle, before stopping to continue their flirtations. I kept waiting for the old lady to become offended by the old man's brashness, but she seemed to enjoy it. I don't know what future plans, if any, were made, but she left empty-handed and then he did the same. A moment later he shuffled back in to sheepishly explain that he had forgotten to pay for his items. It was in the end both disconcerting and yet refreshingly sweet. So, maybe at last, I've seen it all. But probably not. Here's a musical tribute to those two wacky kids. I dare you to not smile. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

6 comments:

The Bug said...

Smile, heck - I'm laughing out loud! What a cute story!

Ronda Laveen said...

Can't wait 'til I 80:-))))))))

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh Merle this is beautiful! Even and maybe especially because of your choice of vid at the end.

The characterization of love as Cupid's arrow is so true. It's kind of random - who knows when, where, or who it will strike.

Love knows no age limits, obviously. Very cool!!

And how classy of you to avoid asking them to "get a room." I salute you!

Karen said...

That's too sweet, Merle. I guess at their age(s), they don't have time to waste...

Kurt said...

It's beautiful.

Megan said...

Aw, shucks. That's so cool!