I have this kick-ass jacket. I wear it pretty much every day. It’s a Mountain Hardware Windstopper. I don’t remember the exact style, if this isn’t it, it’s pretty close.
It’s thin yet warm and cut in a flattering, close to the body, style. Best of all, it’s super duper soft. It’s like a chinchilla or good cashmere or a baby’s belly (’cause their bottoms aren’t always that soft).
I’m used to the kids in Huck’s class petting it. And occasionally, someone I know will touch my arm and then their hand will just stroke it a few times without even realizing what they are doing. It’s an irresistible jacket, so I’ve never minded.
However, today a stranger petted me. At Wal-Mart. Excessively.
Now, I love funny little encounters with strangers. I’ve recounted several in this very blog. But those encounters were all VERBAL. Verbal, as in not encroaching on my personal space or touching me without an invitation.
Here’s the story…
I was in the checkout line when a manager came over to speak with my cashier (yes, for those few minutes he was MINE, so back off) about his schedule. Nothing in this exchange was blog worthy and it seemed as though I was going to get out of Wal-Mart with no blog fodder. Then the manager tried to talk to Worm. I thought that might make it into the blog, because she was more persistent with him than most people.
Worm hates strangers. He will not speak to anyone he doesn’t know (and many people he does). He will actually turn his head away from you if you continue to acknowledge him after he has ignored you. If you push after that, he will cry. Seriously, just leave the kid alone. It’s not personal. He is a baby. Get over it.
She finally gave up on terrorizing chatting with Worm, and moved on to me. I was about to run my debit card, so I thought it would be a quick “Did you find everything okay today”, “Yes, I’m in this store three time a week. I can tell you how many blue tiles are randomly scattered on aisle four.” “Um. Okay, freak. Thanks for shopping at Wal-Mart!” Then that was supposed to be the end of it.
Oh. No. She noticed my jacket. I actually saw the look on her face and knew what was going to happen a split second before it did. She reached for me, grabbed my arm, and said “I love this jacket! Oh my gosh, it’s so soft? Where did you get it? It feels like velvet, but even softer. What does it feel like? I can’t think of that material.” All the while she is stroking the entire length of my right arm.
I said “It’s fleece.”
Then she moved on to my back and began actually running both her hands across my back and said “We sell lots of fleece here and none of it is this soft. Look at me, I can’t stop touching it.”
Seriously. Across my upper back. With both hands. In Wal-Mart. Uninvited.
Just when I was preparing for her to cop a feel, the cashier in the next aisle called her over.
I had several more errands to run after that, but I went home to put away the perishables before heading back out. While I was home, I washed my hands and brushed my teeth. I felt somewhat less violated after that, but I probably won’t be 100% until I can get a hot shower.