Costco Lady in the Mask

Today I exited Costco of Prescott with two $43 boxes of Newman’s coffee pods and two bags of cauliflower tortillas and 3 bags of Keto cereal, placed the items inside the rear hatch of my Acadia, and pressed the hatch close button. Then I saw a 4×4 pickup waiting for my spot like a Robin for a worm. So, I plopped behind the wheel, removed my Covid mask and visor, backed out and pulled forward a few feet. The pickup crept behind me like someone lacking social distancing. But there in center isle ahead a silver haired woman cut across my path, with a blue face mask that covered all but her blue eyes … focused on me.

Is she looking for her car? Did she need help? Was she disoriented? I don’t feel like socializing. Great, now she’s pointing. Is she pointing to her spouse in a vehicle behind me? Now I’m caught between this lady’s hand signals and her husband. Did she belong with the 4×4 truck who couldn’t get into my space? I wondered how much patience this truck would tolerate this wayward senior. This turned into a scene.

Oh, no. She did not gesture at another vehicle but waved at me. Still pointing at some mysterious apparition. So I accepted my duty to assist the poor woman. I put on my face visor like crooked glasses, rolled down my window and greeted her. She crept to my driver’s door, bent her head and whispered loudly for the hearing impaired, still pointing, ” Did you know your rear hatch is up?”

Glancing in my rearview, I indeed saw my hatch up and the 4×4 still idling, now with other cars gathering behind it. Certainly their conversation swirled around the poor old man rescued by the silver sneakered doo-gooder. Because the two Costco size coffee boxes blocked the electric door path, I had to exit the cab, wave at the sympathetic eyes of those watching a man about to scatter 200 coffee pods across six lanes of traffic.

The silver angel disappeared with approving nod and hidden masked grin of “I told you so.” The truck parked. Traffic passed.

As I left Costco, I called my wife who said, “You see, you can’t go to Costco without me!” I have advanced to the ranks of I can’t go anywhere without my wife, and she has proof. What’s next? Coffee cup on the roof? Card left at the register? (I did check for that before I left the lot).

Self-checkout: In our mid-Covid, post-Capitol time of prepare for the worst and trust no one, I had a masked reminder of why we need each other. We need to learn to trust again. Kindness cannot exist without trust. When I roll my window to give a dollar to a homeless person, I take a trust risk. When I pause to help one who lost her way, I trust that I won’t lose my way. Kindness shown means kindness received. Rather than a political agenda, let us muster a kindness agenda.

Love is patient, love is kind. - I Corinthians 13

– Pastor Jim