The pick-up fail. With Fresh lemon scent.

I went to a funeral a few weeks ago.

And as is befitting a funeral, I combed my hair, dutifully applied tasteful make-up, and wore something that was NOT yoga pants or ripped up cut off blue jeans.

I looked HAWT, y'all.  In a totally appropriate funeral-going kind of way, that is.

Anyway, after the funeral was over, I took full advantage of the fact that my kids were at the sitter's and ran some errands.  Because we all know that taking your kids to the grocery is something that should be avoided at all possible costs.  Right?

So anyway, I'm in Wal-Mart (I know, I know) totally minding my own business and trying to select floor cleaner - see, I have these lovely dark hardwood floors that are quite possibly the most difficult thing in the world to keep clean.  They were perfectly lovely for the two adults (me and RJ) who picked them out, but sorta a bad call for ALL THESE CHILDREN AND THEIR EVER-LOVING CRUMBS.  WHERE DO ALL THE CRUMBS COME FROM!?!?!?!  WHERE?!?!!?

Ok.  Whew.  I'm back.

ANYWAY, as I'm standing there, minding my own business, looking at the floor cleaner, out of the corner of my eye, I see somebody come up beside me to look at floor cleaner, too.

I did the glance-backward-move-sideways-slight-smile-no-eye-contact thing that is common in these situations, and continued my search for this:

which is the only floor cleaner that makes a dent in my dirt situation, for some reason.  For some other reason - like apparently the universe hates me - it is difficult to find.  

Then, over my shoulder I hear "Excuse me."

And then again, "Excuse me."

So I turned around to see a fairly tall military guy beside me.  Honestly, that's all I remember about what he looked like.  After a blue million years of working a retail job, I learned to pick two totally non-offensive characteristics to by which to identify random people who are asking you for help.  Red haired woman, blue scarf.  Teenage boy, red t-shirt.  Tall guy, wearing a military uniform.  

I carefully avoided all eye contact, staring at the mops past his left shoulder instead.

"Yes?" I replied.

He smiled.

"I was wondering which of these is the best," he said, gesturing vaguely toward the cleaners I had been staring at so intently just moments before.

So I did what all good former retail clerks who don't and never have worked at that store or sold that particular item do.  I began to ask questions.  

"What kind of floor is it?  Hardwood? Vinyl? Tile? What have you used before?  Why didn't it work for you? What kind of mop do you use? Do you prefer a scented or an unscented cleaner?"

I continued to ask questions and offer advice on each brand.

"Now, I've used this brand before and I like it, it does a pretty good job on my tile, but it's NOT for hardwood.  And this one has a weird smell that I don't particularly like.  And I think it's highway robbery to pay this much for this one..." 

And on, and on, and on.

At some point, his smile began to fade and his eyes began to glaze over just a little bit.

I decided to make my exit.

"Well, good luck getting your floors clean." Awkward laugh.  "I've got to run now."

At this point he was just looking sort of dazed and sort of shaking his head, but still holding on to the bottle of cleaner I had recommended.  

I grabbed up two bottles of my favorite cleaner and headed toward the front to pay.

I walked on, congratulating myself for being such a good citizen.  I'm so helpful!

Right before I rounded the corner, I glanced back, just to see the soldier guy put back the floor cleaner and walk away without buying anything.


Lightbulb moment.

He didn't care about floor cleaner.

He was just trying to start a conversation with me.


And me, a married woman.

He was totally wasting my precious kid-free minutes.

Well, fine, then.

Serves him right if his floors are streaky forevermore.

I can think of few fates worse than that.

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