Apparently I have that face or an aura about me that makes random people think “I should talk to this girl about my problems, my day or ask her to watch my mom for a minute while I go check on a price in this aisle over here.”
The one time I ventured out on Black Friday with my sisters and Chuckie, we were waiting in line at Wal-mart for a Nintendo DS for my mom. It was packed and no one could really move – one of many reasons I will not be participating in day-after-Thanksgiving shopping ever again – and this Chinese lady and her elderly mother were right next to us. The younger of the ladies was looking around at some things while her mom held her place in line (right in front of us). From what I got from their conversations, the elderly woman didn’t speak English, or at least didn’t prefer to.
After a few minutes, the younger lady looked at me and said, “Can you watch my mom for a minute? I’m just going to check on something.” To which I said “Yeah, sure,” but was thinking “WHAT?”
First of all, I don’t speak Chinese. If she wanders off, what do I do? Chase after her? Are you coming back or did I just unknowingly agree to adopt her? Does she know you asked me to watch her? Does she wander off a lot? If so, why didn’t you bring a babysitter for her? Or a leash? Or a tracking device?
Stuff like that always happens to me. I am a friendly person for the most part – even though some of you may disagree or laugh at that statement – and people are always asking me to help them out or to watch something for them or striking up a conversation in line with me. It happens to my mom a lot, too.
Last night, I went to a bar to see a couple friends before they leave town tomorrow. After being there a little while, I went to the bathroom. When I got in there, a girl was standing by the sink letting the water run and kind of shivering. I don’t know if she’d just gotten there or what, but she was dressed appropriately for the weather – sweater, jeans and knee-high leather boots. When I walked in, she told me she wasn’t in line so I could go in one of the stalls – but they were both occupied, so I waited.
She asked her friend – in the stall – if she should turn off the faucet, and after she did she looked at me, turned it off and goes, “We’re wasting water.” OK… Then, I don’t know how we got on the topic, maybe I said it was cold, or something about her boots being cute? And she proceeded to tell me how she has horrible circulation and her toes are never warm. “Like, when I go outside in this weather and I wear two layers of socks and these boots, my toes are always frozen! What should I do?”
Oh, of course! I’ll know what to do! I always give advice in bar bathrooms. And since I am the foremost authority on socks and boots and feet, why not? I told her to pad the part of her shoes where her toes were. I told her to figure out a way to cover the toes more than the rest of the foot. Perhaps a washcloth wrapped around her toes might work, I said.
Keep in mind, I am stone-cold sober during this exchange. As for her? No idea. But probably not as un-inebriated. And, I kid you not, when I told her to stuff a washcloth in the end of her boots to cover her toes, she looked at me and nodded. Like I had just said the smartest thing in the world. And she goes, “That’s a good idea. I’ll have to try it! Thank you!”
Just set me up with a chair in a bathroom somewhere. I could probably start charging for this stuff.
Laura Hagan, BBT – Will answer questions about life, love, frostbite and offer you drink suggestions. But she will not babysit your mom.