On the way home Sunday, Joy drove me through a new part of the Eastdale shopping mall in Montgomery. We were glad to see a new Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts there. We decided to go in quickly and check it out…and to stretch our legs…and to use the restroom. We meandered through the aisles. Everything was so orderly and clean. We enjoyed browsing. Our Jo-Ann closed a good while back and we miss it!
Joy went to check out and get the car. I waited in line, and my turn came up.
Boy: How you, Ma’am?
Tonja: I’m great, and how about you?
Boy: I’m OK, too.
Tonja: Isn’t that on sale?
Boy: No, it is ringing up 2.99.
Tonja: No…I got them in a bin that was marked $1.00.
Boy: I’ll call the manager.
He finished all the other things, and we were waiting on the manager. While I was in the store, I found a newspaper with a coupon. So, I gave it to him.
Boy: I don’t think you can use this, it’s the 25th.
Tonja: Are you sure? (yes) Do you have a cell phone? (yes) Would you check it? (he did)
Boy: It says 25.
Tonja: Let me check my phone….oh, it says 25, too. OK, I just lost a day somewhere.
A well dressed OLDER LADY was in line behind me.
OLDER LADY: I know the way to settle this. (and she reached into her bag and pulled out a calendar on her checkbook) This is always right. I use it all the time. Look here, sugar, it’s the 25th!
Tonja: Well, I guess I’ll have to accept it. My coupon’s no good.
Lady: You remember, we went to Gulf Shores this week end. ( I has never seen her before)
Tonja: Oh! I had forgotten.
Lady: Well, I want to tell you something. And, you can write it down. And, you can tell anybody you want to. There weren’t no oil on that beach. It was beautiful. I just don’t know if those ‘Bippy’ people are telling us the truth. I’m just not sure.
Tonja: Well, I hear it’s not bothering the people in Panama City or Destin, either. Their beaches are still looking nice.
Lady: Well. there ya go! What have I been telling you? It’s just those crazy Bippy folks. You live here in Montgomery?
Tonja: No, Ma’am, I live in Dothan.
Lady: That’s a wonderful town…our pastor came from there. We love him. Y’all should never have let him go. And, you can’t have him back.
Tonja: And, what is his name?
Lady: L*wson Bry*n.
Tonja: Oh, I remember him. I did not go to his church, but I had several friends who did, and they loved him. He was well respected in the community, too.
Lady: Well,they’ll never get him back. We got him now. Was he your preacher?
Tonja: No, Ma’am. I went to another church.
Lady: He’s a fine man. He had a church in Dothan. We really like him. Did you go to church with him?
Tonja: Boy, it is hot here in Montgomery! Are you staying cool?
Lady: There ain’t much cool here. I try to stay home.
Tonja: Me, too! It’s too hot getting in and out of the car.
Lady: Well, It doesn’t look you went to church this morning.
Tonja: No. No, I didn’t. I’ve been in Birmingham for a wedding and I’m heading home now.
Lady: Is it cool in your car?
Tonja: Yes Ma’am. Very cool.
Lady: I DID go to church this morning and our air conditioner was busted or something. It was hot. I love my church. We’ve got a great new preacher. He came from Dothan.
Boy: (He had been listening intently and was obviously enjoying this exchange very much..so he thought he ‘d get involved, too) to me……..”.Hey, aren’t you from Dothan?”
Tonja: Why,yes, I am.
Boy: I bet you knew her new preacher…L*****B*****.
Tonja: No, don’t think I’ve heard of him.
Lady: Well, you must not cause he is the best preacher we ever had. He came from Dothan.
*********All this was done completely straight faced! The young man was enjoying it very much***********
Tonja: Do you think that manager is still looking?
Boy: (on microphone) Mr. Brown….Mr. Brown……to check out.
Mr. Brown comes ambling up…not in any particular hurry…
Boy: Did you find out about these boxes? They ring up $2.99, and she says she got them in a bin that states $1.00.
Mr. Brown: to me….Where did you get them? …….I told him….. Well, you can have them for $1.oo…but they are really in the wrong place. …….And then he said, “People always trying to get something for nothing.” ******He really did…He said that.******
Now, friends, I try to be so careful. I want to always say things that are kind and helpful to others. I try to let unkind words roll off my back. But, his words….they just got stuck right around my backbone and I had to speak up….you understand…I had to……
Tonja: to clerk…Will you call Mr. Brown again? He did. Mr. Brown came up and asked the boy what he needed, now? The boy said this lady needs to speak to you.
Tonja: Sir, I was offended by what you said when you walked off. I am not trying to get something for nothing. The package( of 4 small container) were in a bin marked a dollar. And obviously it was intentional because there are many more in that bin. If you had walked over there you would have seen it and known I was just going on what the sign said.
Mr. Brown: Well,they were marked wrong.
Tonja: And, I would know that….how…?
Mr. Brown: ignoring me…He told the boy again to charge me a dollar. And, he walked off…never apologizing.
Lady: (whispering to me)…You think he’s mean…or just a little slow…if ya know what I mean?
Tonja: I think it’s a little of both!
I paid my bill, and was gathering my packaging while he checked out the church lady.
Lady: Ain’t that just something? I’m betting he didn’t go to church today either. Where did you say you went to church?
Tonja: Well, I live in Dothan, and I go to Southside Baptist Church there.
Lady: I guess Baptists are OK…like the Methodists better, myself. Hey, I think we got our pastor from Dothan!
Tonja: Was it L*wson Bry*n?
Lady: Yes!!! That’s who it was!! We just love him! Would you want to go to church with me tonight?
Tonja: I’m sorry, I’d love to, but see that car and that Lady in the drivers seat? She’s ready to go and she’s not going to slow down till we get to Dothan.
Lady: Dothan? That’s where our pastor came from!!!
Tonja: Bye now! Tell L*awson I said hello! (he does not know me)
Lady: Bye, now, Sugar!
And that’s what happened on Sunday, July 25, 2010 in Montgomery, AL! I told Joy about it when I got into the car and we had a good laugh. And, I had another good laugh as I wrote it down for you. I’m not laughing at her, understand. She’s probably a whole lot smarter than she acted. But, the whole incident was just fun! I think these little ‘journeys to the delightful’ are a gift from God. Just a little escape from the sameness and everyday. I bet we could all experience more of these if we only take the time to look……..and listen.