Sometimes I talk to strangers. I teach my children not to do that, though. Unless they decide to do what I do and not what I say. Then I'm sunk.
I was at Pizza Gourmet to pick up food. It had been a hard day and I deserved not to have to cook. If I felt like writing about it, there would be an "autism awareness" story inserted here.
Anyway, there was a big white sparkly truck parked next to my dirty mini-van. This was the kind of truck that could fit the Beatles and their grandchildren in it. I waited to get into my car while the front passenger side door opened about an inch per second. A lady of advanced years slid slowly down from the seat to the ground, skipping the help of the running board attached to this truck of wonder. Think of watching a child go down a slide in very slow motion but sporting gray hair and holding the sides for dear life.
She smiled at me and I commented, "Those trucks are pretty high. My husband has one and they're hard to get in and out of when you're short. It's nice that you have a running board, my husband's truck doesn't have one."
"Short" was my substition for "old." No need to offend the stranger I'm talking to. It was hard to tell how old she was. She might have been 80 or she might have been 100. But by golly she was sliding out of the side of a souped up pick-up truck with a smile so she had my respect. Because I hold onto the little handles when I do that. And I am sure I look like I am contemplating the beginning of the universe as I disembark.
I thought talking with strangers was done, but no. The back seat passenger door of the truck opened at medium speed and another lady of indeterminate age got out. She didn't slide but she didn't jump. She might have been 60 or she might have been 75. I'm unsure. She had gray hair and wasn't what I would call young.
She commented to the older woman, "Mom, you didn't use the running board when you got out. Next time use the running board."
Then the daughter turned to me, rolled her eyes and said in a theatrical whisper, "Old people! They never listen!"
Isn't life interesting?