Thursday, July 25, 2013

An unexpected conversation

I have a couple of items in the classified section of the newspaper--a Pampered Chef veggie platter and a silicone muffin pan--and, even though they are Priced To Sell, they've pretty much just been sitting there for almost a month.

Which is cool. I've got time, people.

Now, to the point (-ish):

Wednesday morning, at 6:30 a.m., no less, the phone rings. I was pretty sure someone was dead because who calls at that time unless it's a major emergency? Eric rushes in to answer it, assuming I was sound asleep, I guess, which is hilarious because I am the lightest sleeper in the world. Oh, and insomnia. That's really fun. Anyway, then he's all like, have you sold your veggie platter yet? And I was all, what? No, and he was all, let me have you talk to Trish, and because I had not had coffee yet, it took me a second to realize he didn't want me to talk to myself after all, but to whoever was on the other line.

Okay, then.

So it's this obviously little old lady (with no sense of time, but that's just conjuncture on my part) who is all, do you still have your veggie platter? And I was all, yes, and then I start explaining the thing to her, and she's very interested except she's A) old and B) housebound and C) in the next town over.

It took about five minutes to get that all sorted out. And then she just started talking. And talking. Sometimes I think that my purpose on this earth is to simply listen to people. Thirty minutes later, I had learned:

She's from Kentucky
She came to Oregon in 1963
With her brother and his family
And her family
She left a couple acres of corn and tomatoes
Because her brother said there were jobs over here
And the car broke down twice
And they came with only the clothes on their backs.

Her father was a tobacco farmer
And they get paid once a year
So they lived on credit
And she never had a doll
Which is why her house is filled with dolls.

Also, she's a big fan of Elvis
And has a lot of memorabilia
Like, A LOT.

She wants to move
Because there's a spring under her hutch
Like, water bubbling up
And it's ruined a lot of her things
But she's not sure where she's going to move
She's trying to get rid of things
But not her dolls
And she likes to get stuff she can leave behind for her kids
One works at Kmart
And the other is crippled
And had a blood clot go through her brain at 14
And had open heart surgery
And she is sad because she thinks no one likes her
And she fell backwards and hit her head at Burgerville recently
So now she has stitches in her head
And she's 54.

The little old lady would cry if she could
But she knows she can't
So she laughs.

And her Kmart daughter lives next to her
And her apartment is always filled with smoke from wires or something
So she sleeps at the little old lady's apartment
Which is good because she's afraid of falling
And this way her daughter can look after her.

She told The Lord she will help Him however she can from her chair
And one day he sent this little girl who was afraid of her up until that point
She didn't know why she was so afraid
But she came in and they had a talk about her drinking
And the little old lady prayed with her and helped set her life right again
And they dumped all her booze down the sink
Which was a lot of fun.

Then one day The Lord sent her a series of numbers
Just a voice and the numbers
And she wrote them down
But she didn't do anything about it for a year
And then she called the library and discovered it was a zip code in New York State
And it turned out that's how she found information on her uncle
Who had left to be a gold miner and they'd never heard from him again
Well, they did when his wife died but her grandmother was sick
And of course her grandfather wouldn't leave her grandmother
But she's into genealogy now and has learned a lot about her family.

Um, and some other stuff
But there was so much
That I forgot probably half of it.

(I was going to make this into a list, but it ended up being a poem. The words do what they will.)

So at the 35 minute mark, Eric comes in and I kind of shrug and he mouths, do you need to use me as an excuse? And I was all, that is BRILLIANT, so I said, I'm enjoying talking with you, and I'm really sorry, but my husband is leaving for work and I need to help him make his lunch. That last part was a total lie because Eric always makes his own lunch (since Day 1, actually), but anyway, I figured someone of her generation would think it completely understandable. Then Eric went into the kitchen and started pulling containers out of the fridge and was all like, get in here, this lunch isn't going to make itself!, and that made me laugh.

In conclusion, I really like my husband.

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