Actually, I had just unloaded two bags into the backseat of my car and was thinking, "Wasn't there a third bag?" when I heard you behind me, yelling, "Woman in the blue shirt!"
I turned and watched you coming toward me, but it still took a long moment for me to realize I was the woman in the blue shirt.
I'm sorry. Lately, my mind is always somewhere else.
But then you came closer, panting, and I realized that you were carrying my third bag, which contained a two-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi and a two-liter bottle of Diet Sierra Mist. I'm always slightly embarrassed when I'm confronted with the evidence of my diet soda addiction (cans, bottles, Big Gulp cups with massive red straws), and for a moment I actually considered saying that it wasn't my bag. But that's silly, because it was.
"You have got to be the fastest person I could possibly chase through a parking lot!" you said, still catching your breath. I am horrible at guessing ages, but I think you would qualify for a senior discount, and it was quite impressive to think that you had followed me all the way out the store, across the parking lot, and through the maze of parked cars, just to hand me what a well-meaning friend has termed "liquid cancer."
I felt pretty bad, seeing how out of breath you were, because the truth is that I am not a fast person at all. Actually, I am slow. Ask my husband, or read this blog post. Or ask my former co-worker, who told me, after seven years as colleagues, that he "didn't know I could run."
"Thank you! That is so... wonderful," I told you. And it was. Just when I was starting to think that everyone in my city was a pothead gang-banging tagger with an obsence moniker, someone went and proved me wrong.
I wondered what the appropriate etiquette was for this situation. A profuse handshake? A cash reward? Split the profits? (No, you take the Sierra Mist... I insist.)
I settled with, "I really apprecate it," and you said, "No problem," and walked away, moving very slowly.
Anyway, you know that part. What you don't know is that I've decided to pay it forward. I am going to become, any day now, the sort of person who observes things carefully and steps in like a knight in shining armor (or a rather slow-walking woman in handmade Greek sandals) to save the day.
A Diet Soda Junkie
(aka, Woman in the Blue Shirt)
Paula Treick DeBoard