Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Near-Sidewards Crablike Skidaddle

A blogwoman who is a lifetime member of Target (goes there for special occasions, like an anniversary) who is also a bona fide Busy Mom had an "encounter":

Toothless mountain man: "Ya wanna look at each other's stuff? I'll look at your stuff and you look at my stuff, and, we won't have to give any of it away."
Me: ... (!)

Heh Heh.

I've had those kind of moments when you look around to see if some TV show is filming your reactions. When you see there isn't, you begin a near-sidewards crablike skidaddle. (A difficult yet urgent form of movement.)

There was a moment this afternoon when I almost had to make the "
near-sidewards crablike skidaddle" as I was perusing jars of salsa at the local market. Off to my left, I hear a woman say "you know, everything in here is getting more expensive."

"Hmmm ... yes, everything is getting more expensive...." I say in hopes of appearing agreeable and non-threatening while carefully, without making eye contact, I attempted to ascertain just who owned the voice.

"It sure is" she says.

"Yes. Yep. Uh-huh." and I am gaining some confidence this is just normal 'howdy-do-stranger' banter which used to occur with somewhat more frequency here in America, and then go back to studying salsa labels.

"You know, you can make some really great food by just adding salsa," says the lady, who, sensing my guard has been dropped, literally zoomed across the 15 feet which had separated us, "For instance -"

With my ninja-like reflexes, I immediately pivot and turn to both face the stranger and establish the necessary stance for a '
near-sidewards crablike skidaddle'.

The woman before me has long, straight white hair, looks to be somewhere between 60 and 70, but I see no tell-tale military camouflage outfit, nor a hideously streaked with some food or grease threadbare T-shirt with an obscure and oddly out of date catch-phrase, like 'Sit On It, Turkey!!.

In fact, the hair and fairly calm features make her look a little ... well, witchy was the word I thought, or maybe just earth-mothery.

She continued, saying "You can make a really good meatloaf, just find some salsa you like, and mix it in with the breadcrumbs and mix it into the groundbeef. Something with plenty of onions and peppers in the salsa, and then a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper."

Now, the way she said that bit about the pinch part for some reason shifted my view back to the "witchy" perception.

Thankfully, she followed that suggestion with, "Of course I always add some brown sugar, and a little Worcestershire Sauce for a glaze while it cooks." and I realize we are having a plain old share-a-recipe conversation, which, again, used to occur with some frequency within the aisles of a market in America. (And before I forget to mention it, I think "worcestershire" would make a great first-round spelling bee word.)

At this point she starts to back off, smiling very sweetly, and adds, "It saves time and tastes good, try it out sometime."

So I casually (yet again, with ninja-like subterfuge) shift my near-sidewards crablike stance into a jaunty one bent-knee at ease. And thanked the lady.

Figured I must have some reason now to just buy the dang salsa and quit pondering over it and get outta there before I actually made a friend. No sense in getting carried away.


  1. Where I am it's still common to have conversations in the supermarket - you're just living in the wrong place ;). Isn't it a weird old world when actually talking to strangers -face to face - is considered odd?

  2. HA!

    The kid and I were accosted at the neighborhood market the other day by a mother of a small child who was clearly not getting sufficient adult interaction. She talked my ear off for at least five minutes, and I don't think I said anything other than "mmm-hmm," "mmm," and "wow" the whole time.

    I don't mind a bit of friendly neighborhood small talk, but I can't stand it when strangers get all up in my business, especially when I'm trying to hustle the kid home for naptime.

    Plus some people just give off the crazy vibe.

  3. I kinda agree with Lee, but there are boundary issues here. Sometimes you just don't wanna have the convo, and it doesn't seem to matter. Sometimes people, who i suspect are quite lonely are just putting feelers out to see if they can have a moment of, to use the Boss's term, human touch.

    Yeah, we probably need to be open to that with grace, but sometimes others need to respect our boundary too.

  4. Gosh, that just jerked me back to the mid-90's in Tucson, when they had 'single's nights' at the local grocery stores. Heaven help you if you didn't know what was going on.. & got hit on in the dairy, produce & beer aisles.
    For awhile there I just thought my pheromones were going off unchecked (& unbidden). But discovered it was a just a bunch of comb-over '60's dudes, thinking I was there to 'get lucky'.