Closing Time

“…You don’t have to go home, but you can’t. stay. HEREEEEEE!”

After the sun goes down, the grocery customer demographic shifts to the “ers.”  Lonlier. Frantic-er. Crazier.  It’s not uncommon when I work the closing shift to have up to an hour of my time consumed by a person who just wants to talk, needing a friendly listening ear.  My favorites are the older people with elaborate government conspiracy theories; I stare at them with a blank smile while they’re talking, nodding when appropriate.

Feign Interest

But despite the comments I’ve heard about crop circles, Affordable Health Care, and fluoride, last night was my weirdest encounter so far.

There I am, minding my own business, building a fabulous Tulsi Tea endcap (http://organicindia.mercola.com/tulsi-tea.aspx).  Great stuff.

Now picture a towering woman, hunched over her cart, but even while bent over, looms over my head.  I feel my personal space shrinking.
attack-of-the-50ft-woman“WHAT IS THAT?” she boomed at me.
Stay positive and don’t be awkward, I say to myself.  “It’s Tulsi tea, great way to relax-”
“WHAT’S TULSI?”
I begin to explain how Holy Basil is the English translation of Tulsi, it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for years, and the Sanskrit translation–
“SPELL SANKSRIT.”
I do it, finishing like a spelling bee participant.
“YOU’RE NOT INDIAN.”
Astute observation.  She zooms in, my personal space shrinks even more.  “No, I’m not from India.”
“WHAT ARE YOU???”
Ah yes.  She went there.  sigh  I’m not sure why, but rather than telling her that’s highly inappropriate, and none of her business, I tell her my minority make-up.  (No one cares about the white part.)
She paused, squinted at me, gave a slight nod, then boomed, “I’M NATIVE AMERICAN.”

And with that, she was gone.

…?

I look to see if anyone saw the exchange which just occurred…

…No one did…

Proceed with life as usual.

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