Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)
TITLE: Vanished into Thin . . . Mints
By Lori Dixon
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Like my husband.
No, I’m not insinuating that he loses things. I lost him. For over twenty minutes. In one average-sized Safeway.
As we headed to the checkout, I realized that I needed to use the washroom before venturing home. I reminded my dear husband of certain sale prices that he needed to watch for as they rang up the groceries. Being a man who holds three degrees, I knew he could handle the job.
Exiting the washroom a few minutes later, I walked back and forth across the front of the store checking each till. Now, I must confess that in a vain attempt to deny my age, I had left my glasses in the car. It’s not like I’m blind, I only require them for distance . . . like when I am driving, watching movies—or clearly, finding my man in a grocery store.
Finally spotting him in the far end of the produce section, I muttered to myself, wondering what he was adding to the basket. Squinting, I motioned to him as I slowly approached. A woman was chatting him up and they were looking far too friendly for my liking. A few feet away, he finally came into focus. This was not my husband. Blushing and aware of my flirtatious wave and motions given only seconds before, I ducked behind the closest display.
That’s when I caught a glimpse of him; I saw his back just as he turned the far end of the cereal aisle. My shoes slid across the polished floor as I skid towards him, being sure to not lose sight of my target. He was motoring and clearly looking for me as he did not stop; the Mario Andretti of the grocery store. For a moment, I eyed a can of black beans and thought about winging it in his direction.
Huffing and puffing, I finally got up behind him. Thank God he turned around just as I was about to grab his shoulder. To occupy my awkward hovering hand, I contemplated grabbing a bag of Depends on display right next to him, but instead pretended to wave to someone a few feet away.
A kind and clearly flattered silver-haired-fox waved back.
Sauntering back to the checkout aisles, I looked up and down the store one last time, straining my eyes and nervously grinning in sheer desperation. Who would have thought that dozens of grey-haired men spent their Sunday afternoons walking around Safeway stores in dark jackets? Whatever happened to a nice game of golf . . . or lawn darts?
I was done. I had smiled at so many strange men, I wasn’t sure if I was about to be picked up or adopted.
What was the rule when lost? Was it wise to stay put so you can be found? Or is it more prudent to keep moving and actively search? But wait! Was I lost? Or was he?
Looking at the customer service desk, the thought occurred to me that public humiliation may be necessary. I could have them put out an announcement of a lost boy. As funny as that would be, it was a long walk back to the house; especially since we shop in the United States and live in Canada. Traveling across the border also renders our cell phones inoperable.
When in doubt, go to a logical place to be found.
Shrugging my shoulders I departed the store. Some miniature cookie thugs accosted me and strong-armed me into buying a box of Thin Mints. I told them that if a grey-haired gentleman came out and was looking a bit confused; to please send him to the coffee house next door.
I had cookies. I had caffeine. Now it didn't matter to me how long it took for us to find each other. I may not have three degrees like my husband, but I manage, even when we're 180 degrees off course.
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