I took my prescription in to be filled. While it was being prepared, I wandered around picking up things that you always end up picking up in Walgreens:
Christmas paper plates and napkins (Yes, Bing, I know we use our real plates)
Plastic spoons for my work coffee (Yes, Bing, I know that I should bring a silver spoon to work and wash it daily instead of tossing plastic ones)
Halloween candy that is now dirt cheap (Candy lasts forever, doesn't it and they are the perfect size to put in Liv's lunch)
Antibacterial hand sanitizer (If you heard my secretary cough, you would too)
Computer screen wipes
Those Energel pens that I like (Made in JAPAN, Bing!)
Creamer for my coffee (It was peppermint mocha...)
Toothpaste (it was on the clearance rack...and ok...I usually refuse to buy Gleem on principle because I hate things that are spelled incorrectly, but it was a buck)
A new squeak toy for Socks (because...Bing...I KNOW you confiscated it because you complained about that weird sound it made...too bad for you...he is getting a new one...c'mon...he LOVED that toy)
An older woman came up to me and looked up at me intently.
First of all, I am barely five feet tall...it is rare when another adult looks UP at me.
Also, she was elderly and I thought she needed help. But, no. She was just chatty. She held up two Russell Stover Santa bars.
"Do you like these chocolate bars?" she asked me
She was looking at me as if the answer was very important.
I glanced at the candy bar.
Well, I told her, I DO like Russell Stover but it is a marshmallow one and I have to be in a certain mood for marshmallow filling...
She nodded sagely. "Well, I just wanted to tell you that there is a Russell Stover Outlet on 72nd Street that will sell you this for about half the cost."
I smiled and thanked her. Started to turn away.
She grabbed my arm. Generally, I dislike being touched by anyone who isn't a friend or family member, but I make exceptions for old people and children.
"Don't give to the Salvation Army bucket outside the store," she whispered. "The guy dressed up like Santa in front of it? He smells like cigarettes and beer and I think that is a disgraceful thing for children to see. A SANTA that stinks of liquor and cigs. Shame."
She shook her head, mournfully.
I nodded, agreeing.
"You know what I think?" she asked me.
I shook my head. Smiled indulgently.
"I think you used to be a real looker. What are you, about 50 or 55?"
I told her 53.
She nodded, as if she had just performed a particularly good parlor trick.
"You have an Irish look about you, that really pretty skin," she said, smiling. "Yes, I think you were a really pretty young thing a few years ago."
I smiled, tiring of this. I think she needed to say that I was a really pretty old thing now.
"Are you a drinker? Because Irish people tend to be alkies," she said, her claw fingers still on my coat.
My smile faded. I said that no, I was not much of a drinker. Didn't bother to add any more.
I said I needed to get going.
"Did you used to be a floozy when you were younger?" she asked, those eyes intent on mine.
I told her that I was done talking to her. Goodbye now.
As I walked towards the prescription counter to see if my scrip was ready, she called after me,
"God, you are such an alky bitch. All that Irish in her. Just look!" She had found a new victim, an older gentleman in a long dark coat.
How do they always find me? Just tell me that. Please.