Sunday, October 4, 2009

Of Umbrellas, Plastic Grocery Bags, And Some Really Nice People

There’s an old saying in Texas, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, but what you get may be worse.

That was certainly the case today as my wife and I headed out to do a little shopping. My wife asked about taking an umbrella before we left. I took a quick look at the radar, looked up at the sky, and told her I didn’t think it would rain for a while. We left the house, and three minutes up the road, the rain started coming down in buckets. “I thought you said it wasn’t going to rain,” the wife said before quickly adding, “that’s what you always say and it always does.”

In my defense, who carries an umbrella in the hill country? As far as I’m concerned, umbrellas and windshield wipers are the most unnecessary things in this area, especially during this year’s drought. As we drove on toward the store, and the umbrella was collecting dust in some corner of the house, I assured her that the rain would stop by the time we got there. Not only did it not stop, it was raining even harder when we arrived.

We sat in the car for a few minutes hoping the rain’s intensity would let up. It never did. Since I had a hat on, and we were fairly close to the store’s entrance, I decided to go in. By the time I got inside, I was soaked. The hat didn’t help at all. A few minutes later, my wife came in looking much the same way.

We had just started to amble into the produce section, when a lady and her daughter approached us. The lady looked at us, smiled, and said, “Y’all must have forgotten your umbrella.” It wasn’t a question really, but more of a statement. To me it sounded like she wanted to say, “You have to be crazy coming out on a day like this without an umbrella.” She wasn’t being mean; it appeared she was very concerned. But, as she walked away, I imagined that she also wanted to say, “I bet you don’t use windshield wipers either.”

With the store’s air-conditioning going full blast, we shivered up and down the grocery aisles before finally reaching the check-out. The lady at the check-out station was very nice, and, again, a little concerned. She gave us large oversized plastic bags to put over our heads so we would not get wet getting the groceries out to the car. Before we even got to the store’s exit, we were approached by yet another concerned employee offering us even more plastic bags.

Nice people and they surely meant well. Bless the friendly, caring folks in the hill country. But let me tell you something. Walking through a parking lot with two or three oversized plastic grocery bags on your head is not a good look. I don't care how hard it's raining. And it’s not effective keeping the rain off either.

When we got home, I immediately grabbed the umbrella from the house and threw it into the car. After all, you’d have to be crazy to not carry an umbrella given this area's fast changing weather. Heck, even I know that.

1 comment:

  1. I think the employees wanted you to put the plastic bags over your head and secure them very tightly...