I went to buy my kids new shoes today. I went to Payless Shoes with line-tracings of their feet to figure out their sizes since they just KEEP GROWING!
The sales clerk appeared between 18 to 25 years old. She was perky and attentive. She helped me figure out their sizes and showed me right where I should look for boys size 12 and girls size 8 1/2 shoes. (My son appears to have skipped right over size 11 he's growing so fast!)
I was the only customer in the store. The sales clerk was busy with whatever she was doing, but attentive, as I said, and the minute I was ready to make my purchase she was there ringing me up and making small talk. She suggested I take advantage of the big sale and look at some shoes for myself too, but I told her the truth, "I have plenty of shoes, too many probably."
She told me the total purchase price, I handed her my American Express, she took the card and said, "Oh, it has your picture right there on it, so I don't need to see your license" as she slid the card through the slot on her keyboard.
"May I please have your phone number?"
"Sure, it's ..." I give it to her.
Click click click click... "Is your husband Michael?"
Yep... a shoe store. This is a random place, the sales clerk and I are the only souls in the building. Why do these things happen? I was in a completely new context, away from all who know me, in a moment of distraction while buying shoes for my kids.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't know. I saw you're wearing a wedding ring."
Wow... now she doesn't know it, but she's actually hit a second sore spot (sort of.) My wedding ring is right back on my finger and I have no immediate plans to remove it. I didn't like having it off when I tried that for awhile... (another story, another time.)
"Would you like me to change it into your name?"
"Is the email different too?" she reads Mike's email address to me... the one I can't get into.
I give her my email address. She asks how he died, I tell her it was 15 months ago - pneumonia.
Suddenly, her spirits rise.
"Oh, well 15 months ago, that's a long time!"
[I liked her until that last part...]
"Have a great day!" :-)
I said, "you too," and I left.