So here's a riddle for you: do I look like I would kidnap an elderly couple?
What if I had Patrick in the back seat and an LL Bean tote bag full of library books next to me? What do you think? Scary?
After speech therapy (which is going extremely well, I'll have to tell you about it) Patrick and I went to the library. The library where Patrick, my sweet Patrick whose habit it was to hand each book up for checkout while saying, "I'm helping mommy", lost his wee mind today. One second he was listening to me firmly counsel, "People are working so we have to be very quiet and you need to stay with me" and the next he was sprinting through the non-fiction stacks shrieking "People are working! People are working! People are working!" When I finally caught up with him he proceeded to go completely limp on the floor. After negotiating a surrender and accepting parole in exchange for good behavior, he then had the cajones to immediately slip from my grasp like an oiled carp and book full tilt through Periodicals yelling, "I mean it! People are working! No Patrick no!" while I raced after him.
Note to the dour man who glared at me and hissed, Shhhhhhhhhhh: Yeah. Gotcha. OK. I'm WORKING on it. I was running as fast as I could. He is two, after all, and if you are so fucking important why are you reading Car and Driver at 12:10 on a Tuesday afternoon? 3M Conference rooms full up so you decided to bring the Board to the public library for the quarterly review?
Still, I appreciate that the library should be a quiet place and I physically removed the boy as soon as I was able. I almost didn't even pick up my books, but decided that I had suffered enough already.
Regrettably, Patrick did not agree this assessment of my suffering and when I bent over for a drink at the water fountain (did you know they call them 'bubblers' in Wisconsin? Bubblers!) the child whacked me on the back of the head with such precise timing that you would have thought he had been in junior high for years. If you don't remember that peculiar form of adolescent torture what happens is someone pushes your head forward just as you try to take a drink and the end result is that you wind up soaked from, like, the eyebrows down. As I did today.
So I was wet and annoyed and I had to bodily carry a kicking Patrick plus my purse and the book bag and it was cold out and the ground was half snow-half slush and I needed lunch.
As we left I noticed an elderly couple trudging through the parking lot and peering around and I heard the woman say, "I am CERTAIN we parked close to the end here." And I decided that they had misplaced their car and I hauled Patrick into his car seat and accidentally let Bear fall into the blackened snow ("Bear is really really dirty," Patrick complained all the way home.) Then I pushed some damp hair out of my face and started for home.
Just before I left, though, I saw that the couple was still just drifting around the parking lot and I realized that I couldn't drive away without seeing if they needed help. So I slammed on the brakes and made a U-turn and drove up and down the aisles until I caught up with them.
I rolled down the window and asked the man, "Can I help you find your car?"
He asked if the library had another parking lot and I told him it did, on the other side of the building. If they liked I would be happy to drive them over there or I could drive them around this side just to be sure they hadn't missed it somehow. What he was going to say we will never know but his wife finally inched close enough for me to repeat my offer to her.
She said, "No."
She said, "Oh no. No No."
Then, pulling at her husband's coat sleeve, she said, "Come along," and left.
When I came home I asked Steve what I just asked you, "Do I look like I would kidnap an elderly couple?"
Steve looked at me and said, "Oh, you mean the whole Uncle Fester thing you've got going on?"
My cursed water-proof mascara had MELTED in the water fountain deluge. I looked like a lesser panda.
Thank god you guys came through for me today and we can only hope there will be no further mascara-related misunderstandings in my future. I cannot help but berate myself though. If only I had asked about eye makeup sooner perhaps that poor couple wouldn't STILL be wandering in circles in the snow.
Strange, but true.
And I was really just acting out of the goodness of my heart and virtue is its own reward and please! hero? no no honestly just an average citizen trying to do her small part, but don't you think she could have slipped a "thank you" in with all those no's?