Today was the first time I've been to Costco since the incident of a few weeks ago when I encountered a woman who had a lot to say about Lizzie's hair and the care that her mother took of it. (See here for that post.)
I hadn't actually planned to go to Costco but since I was in the neighbourhood I stopped to pick up a few things. I couldn't help but think, as we walked through the door, about how lovely Lizzie's hair was looking this morning...it was pretty darn cute in the sleek-and-poofy, two-ponytails-out-the-sides-of-her-head look that she loves so much.
It was while we were walking through the dairy section that I saw her standing behind a sample table.
I looked at her and she looked at me. There was a beat of silence.
"I remember you," she said with her thickly-accented rolling r sounds.
"I surely remember you, too," I replied, a little more grimly than in hindsight I might have liked. "How are you today?"
"Good," she responded. "Let me see your daughter," she commanded.
I moved aside so that she could see Lizzie, who was sitting in the cart because her feet were hurting from shoes that had become too small in the course of a morning.
The woman took a step or two closer to Lizzie and stared at her hair in all of its glory. She could only state the obvious.
"It looks good," she said. "It looks very good. You did a good job, Mama."
I smiled. Broadly.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"Mart -" she answered, but I somehow couldn't hear the last part of the word.
"Pardon me?" I asked. "Marta?"
"Martha," she answered. "Like Martha in the Bible."
"Oh," I said. I could handle this one. "Well, my name is Ruth...like Ruth in the Bible. And these are my children: Matthew; Seth; and Lizzie...all like in the Bible."
"What church do you go to?" she asked. Valid assumption, I suppose.
I told her, and then she invited me to her church, an international church attended by many people of African descent, she explained. She said that we would be very welcome there.
"You write down your name and phone number for me," she instructed, the r sounds rolling beautifully off of her tongue. "I will phone you."
I did. Then she volunteered both her home and cell phone numbers; I wrote them down.
And with that, it seems, I have a new acquaintance. Who knew that the hair-critical Costco woman and I would be exchanging phone numbers and contemplating church visits? I guess you just never know where these things will lead. I have no doubt that if we connect again, I will be receiving more unsolicited hair advice. But I kinda figure now, like, so what? It's simply true that I need help knowing what to do with Lizzie's hair. If Martha has a comment to make, or suggestions to offer, well hey, who am I to resist the voice of experience?
Regardless of how Lizzie's hair is looking the next time I see Martha, I'm already looking forward to meeting up with my new BFF.