While preparing to grind my coffee at Trader Joe's this afternoon a nice older woman approached the adjacent bread section.
"I'm sorry," I said, smiling, moving my cart out of the way. "Let me move this so you can get to those muffins."
"Don't worry about me, honey, nothing's going to stop me from getting to my sweets," she replied with the biggest smile. "What you're doing there is important work. And, ooh! I love that coffee! Good choice."
"Yes, I love this coffee too. I'm kind of addicted to it."
She laughed heartily. "Addicted, yes, I can be that way too. Although, these days I drink more tea. Do you enjoy tea, dear?"
"I do but I have two little ones, so I need my caffeine," I explained with another smile. "These days I seem to drink a ton of it."
"I've been known to overdo it a time or two myself," she confided, chuckling.
She was so likable, so easy to talk to! Such a sweet, grandmotherly type. Wow, I thought, apparently I need to come to Trader Joe's more often. It's the happiest place on earth!
The grinder hummed along.
"How old are your children?"
"Four and fourteen months."
"Ooh, you've got your hands full." Her face was full of understanding. She had been there. Long ago, but she knew where I was coming from. She seemed to be remembering her time as a mother, as she stared off into space for a moment. Okay, a long moment.
"I hope you take care of yourself in other ways," she nicely admonished, snapping back to today. "To keep yourself going? Supplements and, you know, things like that?" She had a curious look on her face.
"I do," I assured her. "I try to take care of myself. Can't keep up with two active kids with just coffee in my system, know what I mean?
"So, where do you get your, um, product?"
"Excuse me?" The grinder was still humming along, and it was fairly loud. Maybe I didn't hear her correctly?"
"You know, your product."
She can't be asking me what I think she's asking me. Can she?
"Uh, that little health food store near the independent book seller?"
"Oh yes, I know the place. There, huh?"
Oh God, what the hell is she getting at? "Yes, they're very nice there. Very helpful. You know, with supplements?" If she is asking me what I think she's asking me, maybe she'll get the hint now. Yeah.
"I'll have to try there, then. Yes, I'll go there now. Right... now. Yes." She turned her head slowly toward the exit.
The coffee machine had run its course and I was standing there, slightly gap jawed.
"Ooo-kay then. Well, nice talking with you."
"Yes," she said, slightly absentmindedly. "Very nice."
And with that she wandered away.
I'm not sure but I think I just send a nice, little old lady to my favorite health food store to ask for drugs. But worse, I'm just sorry I'm not a fly on the wall to see that conversation go down.