I must have a face that invites conversation. At least that’s what this little old lady must have been thinking when she turned to me while we were in line at the cake shop. The guy at the counter asked her if she wanted bottled water or regular (tap) water with her meal.
Lil Old Lady: (Smiling at me) I think I should just have regular water, right? I mean we usually drink bottled water, and then we still get sick… awful stomachaches.
Me: (Polite, non-committal smile) U-huh. I admit I wasn’t paying much attention. My mind was pondering more important things—coffee cake or sans rival?
Lil Old Lady: You have to pay so much for a glass of water these days. Bottled, tap, they’re all the same to me. Don’t you think so?
Me: (Polite, non-committal smile and a nod) Sure. Now she wants an active conversation? Before I’ve ingested any sugar?
Lil Old Lady: You pay more for the plastic and the packaging than you do for the water anyway. Imagine that.
Me: (Trying not to be abrupt) Tap water is it then.
Lil Old Lady: Yes, no sense wasting money, right? By this time the college guy in the funny hat at the cash register is tapping his pen on the counter.
College guy: (Inwardly sighing, I suppose) So what will it be, ma’am? Regular or bottled water?
Lil Old Lady: Huh? Oh. Ah… umm. (Looks hopefully at me. To my credit, I only blink.) Hmm, let’s see… I guess I would rather have the bottled water. Just to be safe, you know.
Ahhh finally! We have a winner. Now I can move on to having that cake.