Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Well, Bless Your Heart....
Bless your heart. Living in the South, you can get away with saying nearly anything if you follow it up with a , "Bless your heart". I have such a love/hate relationship with that phrase. Love it if it's directed towards someone else. Hate it if it's directed towards me. I learned that firsthand last Friday.
That afternoon, I had to make a run to Publix, my favorite grocery store. I love going to the grocery store. Ryan and I usually go together, but he was at work and I needed a few things right away. I feel almost "nekkid" if I walk into Publix without him. Sadly, just about everyone who works there knows us. Ryan especially...he tends to stand out in a crowd a little more than I do :) We walk in and the Meat Manager comes over and slaps Ryan on the back, "Hey! Big Man! How's it goin'?!" I love it. I love that my sweet Ryan makes friends everywhere he goes. Anyhow, I already felt somewhat out of sorts waltzing through Publix without "Big Man" by my side that afternoon. I had my two littlest ones buckled in the cart and I was deciding what butter to buy when a sweet little old lady pushed her cart over to me.
"What beautiful little girls you have!" she said. I thanked her and then she dropped a bomb on me.
"Are they excited for the new baby?" I was totally confused. Baby? What baby? I even glanced at my cart to see if I had given birth to an infant since arriving at the store. I told you I was feeling out sorts, so who knows what I could've done in those first five minutes, browsing the butter. I must've looked like a confused puppy because I cocked my head to the side and just stared at her blankly. Then the realization hit me like a ton of bricks.
"Oh, I'm not pregnant," I said softly, partly because I didn't want to embarrass her and partly because I didn't want to embarrass myself. This sweet old lady looked as if she were about to cry.
"Oh! I'm so sorry! I just...I thought...your blouse...well, bless your heart." I couldn't help but laugh. She put her hand on my arm and kept apologizing. I kept laughing. She kept trying to explain why she thought I was pregnant. I kept laughing.
"It must be your blouse, dear. Oh, bless your heart. I do apologize." I told her it was okay and I do have what I like to call "permanent baby belly", since I've had four children. Well, that struck a chord with her. She also had four children. I learned all about them. And their spouses. And their children. And her husband is a preacher. And they always go grocery shopping together (just like us!) She said she could tell I was a Christian by the way I handled her thinking I was pregnant. I took that as a compliment :) And she is also one of four children. And they are all in their 80's. And she turned 85 on April 4th. After a few minutes, she said she must go because she could see that her husband was getting a little wild in the potato chip aisle. She squeezed my hand and said, "You're so sweet. I do hope we meet again." I said I hoped the same, and I turned to walk down the ice cream aisle. I had a coupon for the best ice cream bars on the planet. They are a little pricey, so when I have a coupon, I have to buy a box. Just as I reached in the freezer case and pulled out my beloved bars, my new friend was looking at me, half ways smiling.
"Okay," I said, "This is really why I have 'permanent baby belly'." She laughed and gave me a look that I KNOW said, "Well, bless your heart."