First aid

I don’t know what kind of ailment that girl had, standing in the first aid aisle at Fred Meyer. She remarked that there should be a sign posted to tell her exactly what she needed to buy in response to a given set of symptoms. Personally, I knew that all I needed was a Band-Aid, but I was stymied for a moment by the wide selection and decided to make a semi-witty comment about it. The girl chuckled and said that I was cute. A minute later, for some reason, she changed that to adorable as she watched me and smiled. I was wearing a green wide-brimmed hat and my first summery outfit of the season: shorts, a T-shirt, and new sandals that were ripping a hole in the skin of my left pinky toe. The challenging part of dressing for warm weather (besides trying to hide bra straps under a tank top) is finding sandals that look nice and allow you to walk, say, half the length of Waterfront Park without being miserable. Having paid 36 dollars for my sturdy sandals, I wasn’t ready to give up on them without trying some first aid measures. I picked up a box of bandages and started hobbling away. My shopping companion looked downward, and with genuine maternalistic concern said, “Awwww, are you okay?” I assured her that I was. Perhaps if I’d milked the situation, she would have given me the shoes off her own feet. But I wasn’t sure how I felt about being suddenly pegged as adorable by a stranger in the grocery store. Instead of returning her good wishes, I slipped quietly into the next aisle and went away to repair my toe.

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