Yesterday in Portland, the weed pollen count was very high. I was out in the community teaching a client how to get around town in the Portland transit system known as Tri-Met. By the end of the day, my sinuses were plugged up badly, my eyes were itching like crazy, and my ears were full.
Around 9:00 PM, I needed to stop and get some allergy medicine and a couple of other items for the house. I also needed the restroom at the store, but it was occupied for about fifteen minutes.
I was not feeling too good when I went up to the checkout line. It didn’t help that the lines were so long that people were packed in the front of the store and people going sideways across the front of the store had to navigate through the two lines.
Even when I’m in pain, I try to be courteous, so I hung back a little to give people room to walk through. I looked down an aisle for a moment and when I turned back around, something seemed different. I didn’t remember who was in front of me before I turned away, so I just let it go. I’m good at that. If someone had cut in ahead of me, that was fine. Without even having enough of a memory to know for sure, I definitely wasn’t going to make an issue of it.
It was a man and his young boy. The boy looked at me and tugged on his dad’s shirt. The dad looked at me and said, “Oh, which line were you in?”
I calmly said, “This one.”
He said he was sorry and moved to the other line. When he got there, he gave me a really angry look and said, “All you had to do was say something.”
I was pretty surprised at his attitude. He seemed angry at me for not asking for my place in line back. I was confused.
After I checked out, I was pushing my cart toward the exit. An elderly woman was counting the change in her purse right in the middle of the way. I stopped and patiently waited. She turned around, took one look at me, apologized, and quickly moved her cart to the side. She seemed scared.
Out at my truck, as I was putting my items in, I was hit by a wave of sinus pain and scrunched up my face even more. It was then that I realized what had happened in the checkout line and with the elderly woman’s panic. It was my face. At 360 pounds, I bet I can look pretty dangerous, especially when my face hurts.
It reminds me of the old prank we used to play as kids. You walk up to a friend and ask him, “Does your face hurt?” When he hopefully answers, “No,” you respond with, “Well it’s killing me!”