Maybe I’m more sensitive than I should be, but I can’t help feeling bad when Craig and I are out in public and something happens. My daughter-in-law, Vikki, said I have no reason to feel bad about anything that happens, but somehow I can’t help it.
Recently, Craig and I were in Costco. He was wearing a large pair of binoculars around his neck, and a lady began questioning him about it. “Why are you wearing binoculars,” she asked. “What are you looking at in Costco?”
Craig seemed unaware that she was talking to him. I was thinking just be thankful he’s wearing pants. Anyway, neither of us responded to her questions. We just kept walking. This was the third store we had been in that day. Since no one else had commented on the binoculars, I had forgotten all about them.
That was not the only incident that occurred in Costco. When he cleared a tray of sample snack bars. I apologized to the demo lady who said, simply, “It’s okay.” Later, when we were checking out, Craig insisted on going along with the cart rather than joining me on the customer side of the checkout stand. The person loading carts gave me a look that said, “It’s okay.” Thus allowing us to avoid a scene that had occurred on a previous Costco trip.
“It’s okay.”–two simple words that say so much. It says, “I see what your situation is and I understand.” I’m not sure the person saying this has any idea how much I appreciate those simple words. They could be words spoken to a mom with small children in tow. It’s impossible to always predict and control the behavior of children. My situation is similar. I know there will be inappropriate behavior, frequent trips to the bathroom (not always in time) and the occasional temper tantrum. The only alternative is to hide away at home like a clam. Since we’re not ready for that, we’ll have to rely on the kindness and understanding of strangers.
That’s what happened recently. I had taken a short nap after spending half the day on our lawn tractor. When I woke up, Craig was gone. I went looking for him in the car. I found him about a mile from our home, but he wasn’t alone. He had taken our dumpster for a walk. It was my intention to have him walk home with the dumpster while I followed him in the car. But Craig, happy to see me, got into the car and wasn’t getting out. That left me with a problem–how could I get us, the car and the dumpster home. I tried putting the dumpster in my trunk, all the time knowing there was no way it would fit even if I could have lifted it. Finally, a very kind man in a nearby house, offered to take the dumpster home in his truck.
Since that incident, I have started locking our gate. That also prevents him from getting into our neighbors’ mailboxes. I’m not sure what will happen next, but I am sure that when the need arises, there will be a kind stranger who will come to my aid and simply tell me, “It’s okay.”
I know that I’m not the only one going through this, but sometimes it feels like I am. Thinking back, I can’t recall ever seeing a wife in a situation like mine. I’m sure I have, but I just don’t remember. That makes me think that Vikki is right. I have nothing to feel bad about.
(I know there are birds in Home Depot, feasting on bags of birdseed they break open with their beaks. A whole family of owls live in the Lowes. I’m sure I’ve seen birds flying around in Costco too. I think I’ll wear binoculars on our next shopping trip.)