Tuesday, December 17, 2013

turning japanese

I was in the supermarket a few nights ago. I think I was picking up a quart of half & half ...or something like that. I made my selection and got into a checkout line. There were two women in front of me, finishing up their fairly large grocery order. One of the women was filling up bags with items while the other fumbled in her purse for cash or a credit card. I waited patiently.

A woman got in line behind me. She had several items in one of those plastic hand baskets. She began putting her items up on the conveyor belt. I held onto my single carton of half & half.

The two women ahead of me were taking an unnecessarily long amount of time. Another woman, pushing a shopping cart, got in line behind the woman with the hand basket. She was about my age (early 50s), wearing a blue winter coat with white faux fur trim around the hood. And she happened to be Asian. She asked the "hand basket woman" if she knew the location of an specific item in the store. The "hand basket woman" smiled and cheerfully directed her to the first aisle of the store and told her she'd find the item about halfway down on the left. The Asian woman thanked her, left her cart, and hurried up to the first aisle.

After a minute or two, another woman walked to the line, behind the temporarily abandoned cart. She was in her mid-30s, dressed in a dark red sweater. Her hair was pulled back into a knot at the top of her head. And, coincidentally, she was Asian.

The "hand basket woman" turned around and addressed the new addition to our check-out line.

"Did you find what you were looking for?," she asked.

The woman in the red sweater rightfully appeared confused. "Excuse me?," she questioned.

"The item I sent you for?," the "hand basket woman" continued, "Did you find it?"

The woman in the red sweater cocked her head to one side.

It suddenly occurred to the "hand basket woman" that she was talking to a different Asian woman. "Oh... never mind.," she said and turned back around to face front.

By this time, I was paying for my half & half and happy to be leaving the store.

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