Yep, found some more…right here in Dothan.
I got up this morning and went to Michael’s, and hurried across town to get my hair cut. Suzanne called and said she’d go with me to get some plants and go to Belk and whatever else we wanted to do. So, she came and we did all of the above, and then she left to complete her errands. I had all intentions of going home. I had bought some plants…so I was in a hurry to get them out of the car before they died dead in the 97 degree heat! But, I had promised Alex that I would get a watch battery for him. And, I was looking for a bottle brush, too. I thought I could just run into Wal-Mart real quickly and get back to the car before it turned into an oven on wheels!
Into Wal-Mart, after I had to park 45 miles away…and dodge all the nuts who do not know that those diagonal lines in front of the door mean that you should stop and let the pedestrians cross. There are also STOP signs and cones out. What part of that is hard to understand? UGH!!!
Inside, it is much cooler. I head to the refrigerated box and got me a cold DDP. OK…I could go on. I needed the brush and I needed the battery, so I planned my strategy. Go left to the kitchen gadgets, grab a bottle brush, swing around and head over to the jewelry dept., and straight ahead to the 20 items or less quick checkout. Because every Wal-Mart I have ever been in has a line of cash registers for as far as the eye can see, but only 4 of them are actually staffed! I digress, sorry. Ah! Here’s the kitchen gadgets. But there is nary a bottle brush to be found. There are basting brushes. There are corn brushes. There are grill brushes. There are vegetable brushes. They even have a set of wooden chip brushes just like I buy to paint with and in the very same packaging…and they are calling them kitchen brushes for every need! Well…I needed a brush to get inside some antique bottles and clean them. And, they didn’t have them. Wouldn’t you think Wal-Mart would have one?
So, frustrated that I was, I headed over to the jewelry dept. BUT…suddenly, the Lord put a thought into my head. He had to put it there because I was too tired to think it by myself! “There could be a bottle brush in the BABY section.” Good thought, huh? Made a detour, and headed that way. And, ‘OH! look at all these cute baby toys! I need to get something for JT. Poor thing needs something else to play with at my house…or maybe in the pool.’ Got the cutest little fishing net with some funky fish. He’ll love it! There they are …bottle brushes! $6.43? You’ve got to be kidding. Oh there’s another one…$1.97…mucho better! Got it and off to jewelry. And, there they were…just waiting for me to come up and get an ear full!
There was a young man, in overalls and a white sleeveless shirt. And, purple high tops…untied…no sox. There was a older woman standing next to him. I assume it was his mother. She had rollers in her hair…those skinny brush rollers like we used 50 years ago. She had on a pair of flannel pants that she had cut the legs off …somewhere in the vicinity of her knees. Obviously one leg was much longer than the other because the pants legs were. She had on a brown tank top with Fruit Loops Cereal logo on the front…AND a flannel shirt that must have belonged to her son. He was a large man. And there was a girl with them, who looked to be about 15 or 16. She had on a pink terry cloth romper…that had shrunk many sizes, bless her heart. And, she was a girl with quite an ample bosom. Ample enough that she needed a very sturdy under garment to hoist those puppies up. But, she had neglected to remember that piece of her ensemble…along with her shoes. Now I was standing there next to them for at least 10-15 minutes…so I got a good look. The whole time I was there…I kid you not…she N.E.V.E.R. stopped moving side to side, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. N.E.V.E.R.
Overalls was purchasing a set of wedding rings. Pinky couldn’t quite get a grip of the situation. Mama had obviously lost her grip many years before. And, here is the way it ‘went down’…that’s Wal-Mart talk.
Pinky: ” So are y’all married now?”
Overalls: “No, I just bought the rings.”
Pinky: “You gonna give her both of them?”
Overalls: “It’s called a set. It’s a set of rings. One is for her and one is for me. That’s how folks know we’s married…cause our rings match.”
Cashier: ” That’s gonna be $89.95.”
Overalls: (Looking shocked) to Mama.).”.I didn’t know it was going to be that much! All I got is $40.00.”
Mama: ” Well, you know I ain’t got none.”
Pinky: “I ain’t got none neither.”
Cashier: ” When are you getting married?”
Overalls: “At Christmas. Around then.”
Cashier: “Then why don’t you put it on lay-away?”
Overalls: “Don’t know what that is.”
Cashier: “That means I’ll keep the rings, and you will pay some on them every month. Then when you pay all the money…I’ll give the rings to you.”
Overalls: ” What if someone else buys them?”
Cashier: “No, they won’t. I’ll take them and put them away. And I promise I’ll have them when you come to pick them up.”
Mama: “You think you can trust these people, then go on. I ain’t saying. This is your doings.”
All this time Pinky is still moving back and forth…side to side…one foot…other foot. I’m getting seasick!
Overalls: to Pinky…”Will you be still?”
Overall: (to cashier) ” OK…I’ll do it. But, you jest be sure to put it up good, cause, these is the rings I’m wantin’.”
THEN…she had to void the sale, THEN ring it again for lay away. And, Pinky is still moving.
Cashier: “Now, here is the receipt. You need to keep this with you and bring it every time you come in to pay.”
Mama…”He’s gonna lose it…he can’t even remember to pull his britches up and put on sox.”
Then Mama looked at ME: “You got boys?”
Tonja: ” Yes, I have 4 boys.”
Mama: ” For sure? You got 4?”
Tonja: ” Well, actually one of them is my husband, but he acts like one of the boys.”
Mama: “I know that’s right. Got one of them myself. Your boys wear theys pants like ‘iss ?”(pointin to Overalls)
I didn’t even bother telling her that my boys were grown, and that I had no control over what they wore or didn’t wear. She probably thought I looked so young I couldn’t possibly have grown children. Yes, I’m sure that’s what she thought.
Tonja: ” No, ma’am, they wear the pants on their hips and wear belts.”
Mama: ” Well, they’s nice boys then.”
Tonja: “Most of the time.”
Pinky: ” Well, I**can keep**it for**you. And**I won’t**lose it**I promise**”(She said in rhythm as she moved from one foot to the other.)
Overalls: “Where you gonna keep it?”
Pinky: ” I got**a good**place to** hide stuff**”
Overalls: “Allright, then. Be careful with it.” He handed them to Pinky.
And, y’all, she took them and folded them into the tiniest possible rectangle, and reached down into the top of that pink romper and stowed it safely somewhere in there….I can’t even think about where. But, I heard barking… I’m just saying…
Mama: “Well, come on, then. Let’s get outta here. My feets are hurting and I got to get ready for church. Pull up them pants, boy. Just like a hoodlum, you are. And, girly if you don’t be still, I’m gonna send you on into next week.”
Pinky: “Can’t do**it, Mama J**Can’t stop**feets just** gotta move**”
Mama: ” Well, I shore hope you can get to the car like that, or I’s leaving your (substitute bottom) here. Let’s go…and get behind me so I don’t got to see you! You, too, Boy!”
And, with that, they left….single file…Mama in her rollers and flannel cut offs, Pinky having a little trouble figuring how to keep up her rhythmic movements while moving in a forward direction…along with holding on to the reciept so it doesn’t fall out, and Overalls, lumbering after them…holding up his pants with both hands and trying to keep from walking right out of the purple high tops.
Bless their hearts. What a sweet little family.
The cashier looked ready to scream. I felt seasick. I felt tired. I felt like if I didn’t get my stuff and get out of there, I was going to scream, too.
Tonja: ” I need a watch battery.”
Cashier: “Do you have your watch?”
Tonja: “No, Ma’am. It is not for a watch.”
Cashier: “Then you don’t want a watch bttery. The other batteries are next to the checkout.”
Tonja: “Yes, Ma’am, I do want a watch battery. It’s for a pill box.”
Cashier: “Why do you need a battery for a pill box?”
Tonja: (why should I have to explain my life to this woman?) ” I just want a watch battery…# 20/25.”
FYI…Alex has meds he has to take around the clock, and they must be right on time. Joy gave him a pill box that has an alarm in it, so if he is asleep, it will wake him so he doesn’t miss a dose. Don’t tell the cashier…it’s none of her business!
Cashier: “Well, they’s right there in front of you.”
And, sure enough, in front of the cashier’s station was a display of watch batteries. It started about 4 feet from the ground and went to the floor. So, I backed up and looked. At this point in my day…I did not feel it wise to bend down on my knees. I feared that if I did I would never make it back to a standing position.
Tonja: “Can you please check and see if you have that size.”
Cashier: “I’m sure we do, that’s a popular size.” (She did not offer to come around to the front of the cashier stand)
Tonja: (Because there are only about a hundred sizes hanging there) ” Would you be so kind as to come show me where they may be?”
Cashier: ( SIGHING…LOUDLY. ) ” They’s close to the bottom.” (not moving)
Tonja: (looking again.)..”I’m sorry, I just can’t seem to find them.”
Cashier: ” Well, I knows they’s there cause I put them out yesterday.” (still not moving to help me find them.)
Tonja: (Really, I was hurting so bad that if I got down, I KNEW I would not get back up…with out help…..and Cashier wasn’t helping) So, I did the only thing I could do (with my plants baking in the 120 degree heat in the car) I reached down and picked up the whole rack that the display was on and hauled it up onto the counter. Now it was at eye level.
Cashier: (eyes popping out of head)…”You need to leave that display on the floor, Ma’am. It’s heavy. It’s too heavy to put on this here counter.”
Tonja: ” OOPS! Sorry! But, I could not see it on the floor.”
Cashier: ” Well, that’s why I’s here. To get things for the customer.”
Tonja: ” That’s quite all right. I know you are busy. Look! Here’s what I need. 20/25…right where you said it would be…on the very bottom!” Bless her sweet bones!
And, with that I took my battery and my bottle brush and toys for JT and my DDP and what was left of my sanity to the ’20 items or Less’ checkout. And, I checked out! Oh, and I grabbed a Snickers Bar in an attempt to calm myself for the drive home.
And, that’s a true story of what went on in the Northside Wal-mart on the day I had to spend 48 minutes in the store. I will never look at a pink romper the same.