Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at email@example.com.
She started by saying to anyone who'd listen - and I happened to be the only one around - "there sure is quite a variety here," and "I can't believe what you can get for one dollar." And that's how the conversation started, in the aisle between the toys and party supplies in the Dollar Store. Maybe it was the unnatural color of her hair or the way it didn't seem to fit quite right. It could have been the lipstick smudge on her chin. Whatever it was about the old woman, it kept me from hurrying along my way.
I guess I must have just needed a laugh. I wanted to see what stories she'd tell, and she clearly liked to talk. I let her tell me all about living in Africa, Ireland and Jerusalem. About helping the British during WWII and meeting the first of four husbands, who happened to be from Milwaukee, there in Great Britain. She told me about secret intelligence and danger and spies. Her family of nine, her parents, grandparents...
I wasn't rolling on the floor but was clearly amused. What I could've avoided if only I had someplace else to be! A simple conversation with a stranger in a dollar store turned into a fifteen minute life story. She wanted to talk and, what the heck, I wanted to listen. She could've been troubled but I don't think so. Even though her stories seemed far-fetched, she made sense and, best part, was also interested in what I had to say. I told her she had enough for a book but she declined. Too dangerous, she said.
After awhile I managed to shake her and thought to myself, what a strange woman, but then had another thought. Didn't I meet this woman once before? Probably a year ago I met someone like her that was a world traveller with stories, a person I encountered in passing while waiting for someone.
Wanting to confirm if this was the same odd person I'd met before, I'd just ask her. I know she didn't leave the store just yet. But where was she? The Dollar Store is pretty small and I looked down each aisle twice. Was I dreaming? Was she an apparition? Neither, she's just so short I didn't see her on the other side of some shelves.
Yes, she is the same person I'd met before, and we have friends in common. She invited me to come visit when she moves to Tenessee. We exchanged information.
How odd it is when two odd people meet on an odd day at the dollar store. Looks can be deceiving.