I ran into Panera’s today to grab a quick takeout lunch for my son, who was home sick from school.
As soon as I got my order, I headed for the front door where an elderly couple was planning an exit and blocking the doorway. It was raining like crazy, and they were trying to figure out the quickest way to their car.
When the old woman noticed me, she nudged her husband.
“Come on, honey, we’re holding this –”
That’s when her eyes moved up and landed on my face.
“– person up.”
She had made a perfect “o” with her mouth.
I imagined everything that she knew or thought she did spilling out from the perfectly round hole in that moment of confusion. Boy or girl?
She went for person. A quick save for an old lady.
I flashed my best smile and told her not to rush. I hoped that the light, pleasant tone of my voice would ease her discomfort and let her know that it wasn’t a big deal.
Don’t worry, it happens all the time, I wanted to say.
P.S. It’s not you, it’s me.