Infamous Parking Lot Encounters

Spent Saturday afternoon battling with weird holly bushes that have nasty poky thorns on them.  When I first moved in, I enjoyed how wild they grew and provided privacy in my backyard.  Three years later, the growth is out of control.  A trip to Home Depot was in order to buy extra, heavy-duty clippers to carry out my slash and burn mood.

In addition to the irritation I felt over the obnoxious bushes, I often experience a considerable dip in my mood each Saturday, between 3-5 pm.   The relentless “what is the meaning of life” voice vibrantly kicks in, and I wonder about my place in the community now.   Last June I was officially diagnosed with AFib, a heart condition.  At the age of 52 I have a heart condition – this topic a blog entry all by itself.  The diagnosis marked a change and increased awareness of how precious life is. When the low Saturday mood rolls over me, I feel my life force clock ticking and wonder if hacking at thorny bushes is how I want to spend my time.

My heart feels lonely from a deep desire to give back more in life than I feel I am giving now.  What to do – teach, study, travel, and volunteer?  And within that desire I feel gratitude that I have choices.  I am entertaining several options from Peace Corps to the coffee shop on the coast I dream about.  I envision a constant flow of interaction with people sharing stories, taking care of each other, walks on the beach, writing,  good music,and boisterous laughter.

All these thoughts swirling in my head as I exit Home Depot, sturdy pair of clippers in hand, head down towards the parking pavement with a determined frown on my face.

“Hey there, how you doing this nice spring day.”     (Is someone talking to me?  Don’t they know I am in the bubble of irritable leave me alone?)

I cautiously look up.  My daughters joke with me that I often think people are talking to me when they are not.  I am in no mood to make a fool of myself today.

“You look pretty cranky and serious; maybe I should call your husband and warn him you have purchased some heavy-duty clippers.”

I am not married anymore, but I am certainly not going to give the guy, who is in fact talking to me, that information.  Yet, he has managed to grab my attention and I am surprisingly captivated by this radiating, brilliant smile on his face.

I rouse myself; flash a big smile back at him.  “Yeah, it is really a great day.”

He has succeeded in getting me to raise my head from looking down at the parking lot and put a smile on my face.  For that I am grateful.  My life is good and giving back to people is as simple as returning a smile.  Lesson learned, thank you strange guy in the parking lot.

He, however is not done and queries, “So, are you by any chance related to Lorena?”

Perplexed and wanting to get home, I pause.  His smile seriously lights up the whole Home Depot, Winco territory.

“I don’t think so, Lorena who?”

His smile even bigger now.  “Lorena Bobbitt.”   (I think many of you will remember this, if not Google the name)

What the hell!!  It is truly an obnoxious reference, making fun of the hardy clippers, my angry looking demeanor, and the “husband” at home who must be in trouble.

However, the mischievous, larger than life smile on his face combined with the unexpected mention of the Bobbitt story nearly knocks me to the ground belly laughing.  He is nearly doubled over too.   Enough said, mission accomplished.  We both continue on our way and can hear each other laughing the entire length of the parking lot.