4.26.2005

it happened at Target...

this evening, I went by Target to pick up a few items. When I arrived at the checkout, there was a young, Asian woman in line in front of me. I noticed a couple of things. She was very short (she came up to about my shoulders and she had on high heels) and that she had on a mini-skirt (one of those things that look like a cumber bun at top, then stripes towards the bottom). Anyway, while I am reading in the Enquirer about Matt Lauer's wife dumping him (losing his hair, I assume) she checks out and then it is my turn. After I pay, the cashier notices that the woman who was just here has left one of her bags. She asks me if I saw which way the woman went, and, after scanning both ways, I truthfully say no, but I add that if I see her in the parking lot, I will tell her. I head out, and scan the parking lot, and don't see her. So I walk to my car, and as I am unlocking the door, I see her sitting in her car, about 4 cars up and one row over. So I walk over to her car. I am usually very careful to be aware of how scary it can be to be a woman alone in many situations, so I approached on the passenger side. I sort of waved my hand at her, she looked up and genuinely looked frightened. I actually took a step back. I then made the mistake of asking her, kind of acting it out in fact, for her to put down her passenger side window. She gave me what we will call the universal symbol for no, not exactly dragging her finger across her throat, but something similar. I then decided to point to my Target bag, which I still had in my hand, and tried to mime shopping bag, left behind, something. She kinda caught on to that, but I think she thought I meant she had left her purse behind, because she looked around briefly and then pulled it up out of the passenger seat. During this time, I am moving around the front of her car towards her side of the car. She doesn't look all too happy, but she puts her window down about one inch. I tell her that she left a bag at the checkout. She thinks that the bag I am holding is hers, and she is telling me to put it down. Basically, she doesn't want to open the door while I am standing there. I correct her and tell her that no, not this bag, another bag back in the store. She finally nods, but I quickly realize that she is not going to get out of the car while I am standing there, so I give her my biggest, most innocent smile, wave, and walk back to my car. I can see in my mirror, that she has still not moved, and will not until I pull away. Which I do, and as I am passing through the stoplight at the far end of the parking lot, I see her crossing through the walk in front of the store. A couple of things to note. This all occurred at around 7:45pm (still light) in a very crowded parking lot. We were not isolated in the least. Second, all of this happened in less than a minute. As I am driving away, I am thinking of what a shitty world we live in that you can't even approach a stranger (man or woman) without them thinking that you are up to no good. and who can blame them. Watch CNN for five minutes if you don't believe me. So, I am hoping that we she gets inside and finds that she actually did leave behind a bag, she will be happy and grateful that someone took the time to help her. I am also worried that she will now be more trusting of strangers in the future, and the next time it might not work as well for her. I'm then thinking what shit it is for this woman to have to wear a mini skirt and high heels to shop in Target. Dammit. I should have gone to Wal-Mart.

ps. While I am writing this, I am watching the new Storytellers on VH1. If you have ever doubted the genius of this guy, I highly recommend it. His version of Brilliant Disguise, performed with his wife, will bring tears to your eyes.

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