Friday, October 23, 2009


I was at Target a few nights ago picking up a some things and got in line to check out. There were only a few people ahead of me, so the line was moving right along. Still, it was the end of the day and I was tired, and I caught myself staring wistfully at the Starbucks as I moved forward in line. The Starbucks is, of course, located strategically just beyond the checkout so that even if I wasn't thinking about wanting one, by the time I leave Target, I always do. I had to remind myself that I would be eating as soon as I got home, and didn't really need the extra few hundred calories from a Chai Latte.

As I was standing there, my thousand-yard-stare was interrupted by the man in front of me saying, "These aren't for me."

I blinked, focused, and looked at him to see what he was talking about. He was a guy in his early 40s, and was standing there very uncomfortably holding a package of adult diapers and waiting for his turn in line.

I hadn't actually noticed that he was holding a package of Depends until he pointed it out. Dude - two words for you - What. Ever. I am a complete stranger that you will never likely see again. Why feel compelled to tell me that you will not be using the disposable drawers you're toting around Target?

I missed a few beats while I took all this in. Finally, I very profoundly answered him: "OK," I said.

Perhaps an "OK" wasn't what he was looking for. Maybe he wanted me to tell him that I too shop at Target all the time for adult diapers for someone other than myself. He was apparently so hyper-sensitive about it that he felt obligated to further explain.

"These are for my father," he said. "He lives with my wife and me - has for past six months. These are for him."

He obviously wasn't going to let this go, but I didn't really know what else to say to him about the matter. Somehow, "good for you!" or "how about that!" didn't really seem appropriate.

Instead, I decided to try to add a little levity to the situation. I held up the package of Batman underwear I was buying for Aleita and said, "These aren't for me. They're for my daughter."

He just looked at me for a moment, rolled his eyes and shook his head slightly as if to say 'whatever' and turned back around. It was soon his turn to go through the cashier's line.

After his chattiness, I was a little surprised. I then quickly realized that he thought I was making fun of him, like "Yeah, those Depends are for your dad like these underpants are for my daughter. Right." I thought about trying to explain that my five-year old daughter is really into boy stuff -- superheroes, action figures, Power Rangers....thus, the Batman underwear. Then I thought, "who cares?"





papadale said...

thank you for not telling everyone that the man in front of you was your hubby, and you had heard the excuse way to many times, thanks also, for letting me stay with you guys!!!!

Julianne said...

So do you buy Aleita boy's underwear with the little hole and everything?

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes! Great story!

Tonya said...

Whoops. I'm anonymous. Hit the button by mistake.