Looking for Dates
I hesitate to post this, because I worry you’ll think I’m making the story up. Let me assure you that this is as true as anything I’ve written.
This evening, while shopping at the Kroger on Hwy 53, an older woman (late 70s, red Capri pants, a comfy pair of Clarks on her feet) ran into my shopping buggy with hers. I looked up and reflexively apologized.
“Excuse me.” she said. In a gesture meant to explain her inattention, she motioned to the bags of baking pieces hanging to her left. Shredded coconut. Chocolate chips. Chopped pecans. “I’m looking for dates.”
“Well, I don’t blame you!” I said. (I treat everyone as though they have not only a sense of humor, but the same sense of humor as me. It makes for lots of grocery store awkwardness.)
“I beg your pardon?” she said.
“Dates. You’re looking for dates.” I raised my eyebrows and smiled. “Ya know, like…I meant… like tall, dark and handsome? That kind of thing?”
The little Granny furrowed her brow and sighed. “Well, they are dark, I guess.” She didn’t get it. Why she continued to engage in conversation with me, I have no idea. I think she felt sorry for me – thought I was intellectually disabled, perhaps.
“I’m making a fruitcake.” she explained. “I’m looking for whole, pitted dates. The date halves get dried out and hard. They’re no good for fruitcake.”
“I think they’re over with the canned fruit and raisins on aisle 2.” I said. “Good luck.”
That little Granny. Bless her heart. She thinks I didn’t understand, but I totally did. She wants dates, but she doesn’t want them to be hard. Because sometimes a girl just wants to hang out in her kitchen, bake, and be left the hell alone.”