Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Friendly Reminder...Those Ain't Pants / Anita Renfroe

Okay, girls. School's starting up soon and for some places it's already begun. For me it starts next Monday. And I know we all like to be cute and dress up...and that's cool! I love it. BUT here's just a friendly reminder for y'all, because first of all I love this song and second of all, she makes a great point and I think this is a message that should be more well-know. So here. Friendly reminder. With all due respect. Take it away, Anita!!




Also just FYI, I don't own the video or anything relating to it. I found it on YouTube and hit the share button.

Grateful

So.

It's been like a month. Hi. So much for the faithful blogging.

Anyway.

I got a job, guys, a real job, where they really call me to work on a regular basis, I have a schedule and I do stuff. It's fabulous.

I'm a clerk, a check-out girl, you know, at our local health food store. It's small and quiet and lovely and my feet are killing me because guys, it's my second day and I was not made to stand on my feet for nine hours straight. I'm just not used to that, you know? But it's great. It really is. There're four of us that work there, nine to six Monday through Friday and ten to five on Saturdays. BossMan and Ariel are kind of co-managers (BossMan owns it and Ariel is his right-hand-girl) and Ariel knows everything about every vitamin you can imagine (and some you probably don't want to). Her little brother Edward is a clerk like me, he started like three weeks ago so he knows a little more than me. We sometimes make a good team. We don't fight or anything, but he doesn't think like me at all so when he tries to help me I just get more confused most of the time. But he's a nice kid. We have a lot of fun.

It's a fun job, really. Kind of slow, and we pretty much stand up all day, but it's good. We get a lot of little older ladies coming in for their vitamins and turmeric powder, and a bunch of pregnant ladies looking for prenatal vitamins and teas, and the gluten-free community pretty much lives at the store, so we have a pretty diverse reach. Like I said, it's slow, so if you wanna come by sometime, go for it.

Today, like I said, was my second day and I'm getting a little more comfortable with the cash register and that stuff, which is good. What's not good is that my feet officially hate me. And from five PM to six PM is like the longest hour in the history of the universe because nobody comes in and we're tired and our legs hurt and we just kind of stand there and stare at each other because it's like, "Hi, Edward, I know some stuff about you and you know some stuff about me...but meh, I don't know you that well yet and this is a little awkward still." I'm sure you get how it is.

So it's five thirty and we're sweeping up and dusting the bulk bins and otherwise limping around the store trying not to stab each other accidentally with various cleaning supplies, and then these two ladies come in. One of them's a little older, she's just here for some Magnesium 12 or whatever (I don't remember what she got and if I did, I wouldn't tell you, I'm just fudging on some details), but the other lady is probably eight or nine months pregnant and she's rocking it. Very cute. They bounce around for a bit and bounce back out, and we finish tidying up a little.

Glance at the clock.

5:55.

Cling, cling.

The door swings open and here comes this lady, maybe mid-fifties, looking desperately windblown and frazzled. "Sorry, sorry, I'll be really quick," she says right off the bat, like we're going to kick her out or something.

Ed answers, "Oh, no, you're good. Take your time."

"No, I'm not good, I know how it feels," she hollers over her shoulder as she rockets down the canned foods aisle.

He wanders off to see if she needs help and I hang around the register until she's ready. As she's checking out, the clock hits six o'clock straight up and the door jingles again.

This time it's an older man, also probably in his fifties. Less windblown and less clean-and-friendly-looking. Jeans are too big: longish, tangled dark hair hangs loosely, centered around the bald spot on the back of his head. His too-big T-shirt says Saint Agnes Catholic Church on the front. Kind of a rough-looking fellow, but it's six and the sign says we close at six so he'll probably be quick, plus Edward is right there and BossMan is in the office so I'm not too worried.

"Is there anything in particular I can help you find?" E asks.

The man mutters something under his breath and E heads over to help him. They spend a couple minutes looking around for something - that they didn't find, apparently - and then the man grunts on out the door. Ariel switches off the "Come on in, we're open!" sign and we start packing up.

Side note. Right now, I am absolutely, totally, completely broke. There's like a dollar in change in my left cupholder in the truck. Broke.

And I've got a quarter of a tank of gas.

In our family, we make it a general rule of thumb to not let the gas gauge get below a quarter of a tank, because then your fuel pump has to work a lot harder to get the gas into wherever it goes, and then you blow out your fuel pump and those aren't cheap. So we just keep it a little above a quarter of a tank. It works out well.

Until you're broke and don't get paid till Monday.

But aha! I live six blocks from work. Problem solved: I can walk.

And so I did. I left this morning bright and early and set off walking alone for the first time in sixteen years. It was monumental. I sang a little tune. The birds cheeped in harmony. The dogs...well, they sounded like they were trying to eat me alive. But whatever.

I walked to work, and home for lunch, and back to work. And then at a quarter after six I was ready to walk home for the day.

At eight thirty and noon and one, it's nice and bright outside and there's lots of traffic.

At a quarter after six, it was cloudy and getting kind of dark and looking ominous and the traffic was considerably diminished.

BossMan was worried. "Are you sure you can walk home? You'll be okay? I can give you a ride. It's just barely out of my way, it's six blocks, do you want a ride?"

"Nah, I think I'm okay, but thank you. It's not that far and it isn't really dark out yet."

"Are you sure? If anything happens to you, your dad's gonna kill me."

"I'll be okay. I promise. And he'd kill me first so I think you're safe."

We laughed and I waved bye to Ariel and E and headed out the door, knitting needles in hand.

And I'm strolling down the street, a busier one, and I glance up and there's Rough Guy, from a few minutes ago in the store. He's meandering down the same side of the street as I am, super slowly.

Okay, I tell myself. He's just heading home too, it's okay. I was about half a block behind him at first, which seemed fine.

He glanced over his shoulder and I know he saw me. A few steps later he stopped and stepped into a yard and stared up at the sky.

Up at the sky, down at his shoes, across the street, quick glance at me, back up at the sky.

I guess maybe he lives there, right? That's okay, that's cool, we're okay.

I'm approaching him now, about fifty feet away. And then all of a sudden he jumps back onto the sidewalk and starts walking down the street, same direction as I am.

Weird. That's weird. That's really weird. Somewhere I'd read or seen or heard about a thing where when people were walking through unsafe neighborhoods, sometimes they would hold their phone up to their ear and pretend to be talking on it, because I don't know, then nasty people left them alone or something. At any rate, I didn't think it would hurt, so I pulled out my phone and held it up to my ear and muttered under my breath. Mostly Bible verses, with the occasional, "what the heck is this guy doing, why is he still glancing back at me?!"

Because he was! About every fifteen steps he'd glance back at me, and so I slowed way down and let him get ahead of me farther...and then he'd glance back and slow down too, stopping to kick some leaves off the sidewalk or whatever, and then when I got up to about fifty feet away from him he'd keep walking.

What the heck?

I shrugged and kept walking, as slowly as I could now.

After about two blocks of this, I heard a funny rattling, rumbly sound. Now it was my turn to glance over my shoulder.

And it's E, on his skateboard, trucking down the sidewalk towards me. I turned back around, feeling a little safer because at least I know E. Then I'm just watching Rough Dude and listening to E get closer and closer and slower and slower.

A moment later he's a couple inches to my right, and I said, "Hey, I know you."

"Yuuuup, you do," he answered, slow and calm like always. "My brother works at the gym up here and he's my ride home so I'm heading over there."

"Ah. Gotcha. Cool."

We resumed our stereotypical silence, because seriously if there was a prize for perfect silence, we would win.

"So this guy up here," I started.

"He's weird, kind of creepy," E finished.

"Yeah. He keeps looking back at me, so I slow down to let him get ahead and he slows down and waits for me and he always keeps me within like fifty feet of him." Words tumbled out of my mouth, like they usually do.

"Really weird." E paused for a second, glancing over at me from the skateboard, which he'd slowed down to keep pace with me. *faint eye roll* "This is why BossMan wanted to drive you home," he commented, sort of condescendingly.

"Yeah, well, I get that now. And I'm okay. I have knitting needles," I answered, holding them up as proof.

"Cooool," he drawled.

"No, really, I'm probably very dangerous," I teased.

He chuckled a little and kept his eyes fixed ahead, on Rough Guy.

We were approaching a stoplight with a crosswalk, and Rough Guy was waiting for the "WALK" signal. But he hadn't pushed the button, he was just hanging out. As we got closer, he glanced back to check on me- and hurried back to push the button to cross.

Like he'd been waiting for me or something, and he wasn't expecting E to be with me so he changed his mind.

I don't know what he had in mind- it could have been totally innocent and coincidental, I could be blowing this whole thing out of proportion. What I do know is that he was acting like he was waiting for me to catch up to him at the light, and then he looked back and saw E, and took off across the intersection the second the light changed.

Sounds hokey to me.

E and I crossed the street and he asked if I was turning here. "Yeah, I go left," I answered.

"Okay."

"See you tomorrow, E."

I turned the corner and headed down the street on my own.

A second later I can hear skateboard wheels rattling behind me. "Afraid I'll get lost?" I teased.

"Naaaah." He grinned. "It's kind of on my way, I gotta pick up some stuff for my mom."

"Okay."

Two blocks later my phone rang. It was Momma, calling to see where I was. I told her I'd had to slow down for a creepy dude that was acting hinky. At the corner, I turned again and headed towards my house, still on the phone. I waved bye to E, and he nodded. "See you tomorrow."

By then I could see my mom, standing on the sidewalk, now walking towards me. Rough Guy was out of sight.

Needless to say, I made it the block and a half home without incident.

But yeah. Like I said, I don't know that Rough Guy was planning anything or up to anything or what. But I know that I sure as heck wouldn't have wanted to be coming up on that stoplight alone. And I know that I am so stinking grateful that God sent E after me, and that he stuck with me until I could see my mom.

So thanks, God, for taking care of me today. And thanks, E, for being a gentleman.

Syonara.

Hitting publish in three...two....

One!!!

Scotty