My dearest Mother never meets a stranger. She talks to everyone she meets about absolutely anything. There is nothing off limits. Last Thursday night we were standing in the Black Friday lines when she became close personal friends with a complete stranger. She learned everything she could about this man and his family in a short period of time. I have no idea why people feel the need to tell her everything.
When we had grabbed our purchases and were standing in the long checkout line she began her spiel on her new friend. She just kept rambling on and on about a man she will never see again. I did manage to stop her in the middle of her dissertation to ask if he was having regular bowel movements. Somehow I just knew he probably told her.
If you live in a big city then over sharing with strangers is probably not a big deal. I happen to live in a small town. You are going to run into the same people when shopping. It is inevitable. It never fails that at some point you are going to learn little tid bits about these strangers that you did not want to know. Standing in lines seems to make people ramble. I find myself remembering these little things when I’m pushing my buggy around the store.
There’s the lady that shouts her conversations into her cell phone. She insists on sharing her life with everyone. I find myself wondering “Is her husband still mad at her for going shopping and leaving him with the kids?”
There’s the goofy big blond that’s always waving her WIC folder. I think she’s proud that she receives government assistance. She keeps wielding that thing like a trophy. Her stick thin husband is madly in love with her though. He awaits her commands and runs to retrieve whatever she desires.
I haven’t seen “Meth” family lately. She was pregnant the last time I saw her. Meth man was cooing at their toddler in the buggy as mommy drug herself through the cereal aisle. I suppose that one probably didn’t end well.
I hadn’t realized how much information I was accumulating on strangers until recently. I may not know their names but I follow their lives in little spurts of grocery shopping. Though I may not encourage them to tell me their life story while choosing apples like my Mother does I am still paying attention even when I don’t want to.