Yesterday, I spent a good portion of my day working in the yard with my dad and his wife. It was time to re-mulch everything, so I was cleaning out dead leaves from under and around the bushes and flowers and then putting mulch in. I have to say, my dad keeps an amazing yard. Well, I thought, since I was going to be outside for so long, I wanted to get some color, and I donned a tank top and some shorts and went to work. Bad idea! I am a white girl, a very, very white girl and this is Utah and we are at a pretty good altitude. Yes, I got burned, very, very burned.
Why do I tell you all of this in a post about the grocery store? Because this was the reason I headed to the grocery store at 10:00 on a Saturday night. I got home from my date and was going to just watch a movie or something and then go to bed, when I thought, “If I don’t get something on this burn I am going to have a miserable night and my back will probably peel horribly.” Being the way my step-mom is, of course she has no aloe. And I just want to add that I’m pretty sure I could hear an “I told you so” from within her as I asked for it. She, of course, avoids the sun like it’s the plague. But seriously, she’s a grandma and grandmas are supposed to have aloe, just like they are supposed to have kiddy sunscreen and ice-cream and chocolate chips (none of which she keeps stocked). So that is what took me to the grocery store last night.
Now, at this point, I had already changed into scrubs and a t-shirt and was basically ready for bed. So, I grabbed a sweatshirt, put on my slippers (they are nice slippers that you can where outside) and headed to Harmon’s. I got there, finally found what I was looking for…a fabulous product called Solarcaine that my mom used to always have on hand…and then decided that since I was already at the store, I should get myself some ice-cream.
So, here’s the picture. Chubby, sunburned, single, white girl in scrubs and a sweatshirt, alone at the grocery store on a Saturday night purchasing sunburn products and ice-cream. Yes, it’s appropriate to giggle (or laugh). And you should have assumed that I was about to run into someone I knew…which I did. A friend from my mission whom I hadn’t seen in ages who is married and was obviously grabbing some things he and his family needed for Sunday. Thankfully, I still had my makeup on and he was a pretty good friend in times past, so it wasn’t a huge deal.
Prior to running into Adam, I hadn’t thought much about what I looked like at the grocery store because what do I care what strangers think? Not only that, but I had been on the phone and involved in my conversation. But after running into Adam and getting off the phone, I started to think about what this looked like. As I walked past the checkout lines, I noticed a few people notice me. One was a very cute, very slender, perfectly dressed and coiffed twenty-something with her husband. I saw her eyes go from my face to my outfit to the Ben & Jerry’s that I was holding in my hands. It was so funny, I almost started laughing right there in the store.
Then I began to notice the other people around me. There were a few older couples who had obviously been out, either to some kind of church meetings or wedding receptions (they were in Sunday clothes), there were some younger couples, there was a group of girls that looked like roommates and some other randoms. For being 10:00 at night and a grocery store that is not right in the heart of university housing, it was pretty busy. And I noticed that people noticed me, and there was a strange look of…well, I think it was pity, that came over them as they looked at me with my ice-cream and sunburn relief products.
The thing is, over the last year of my life, I have become so grateful for my single status that I revel in these moments. In fact, I found the whole thing rather amusing. But why, oh why is it, that no matter what, when you are wearing scrubs in public (and you aren’t a doctor or a nurse) you always run into someone you know and haven’t seen in a long time, even when you’ve just recently moved somewhere?