Well I just had quite an experience at the Salvo Auto parts store in Timonium. Desperate for a new windshield wiper blade as the shredded remains of my current one are dwindling since it is doubling for scraps that birds are using to build their nests, I head to the auto parts store. Perhaps I have put this purchase off a bit longer than is prudent, but I am on it now, “safety first” as I say. Well I really say “family first” and I also say “of course you have nothing if not your health”. Come to think of it money is pretty darn important too. So okay, maybe not “safety first”, but at least “safety twenty-first”. Regardless, I say to myself, I am here now and not leaving this time until I have purchased a new windshield wiper blade and that is that.
I pull my car into a parking space outside the auto parts store, ignoring the empty stares of the seedy looking men standing in front of the Awakenings Counseling Center (the local methadone clinic) which shares the same lot with Salvo Auto parts store. The scruffy and aimless appearance of this loitering group of lollygaggers reminds me to put up my guard now that I am in the big city of Timonium. I venture on. Nothing will stop me now except my complete lack of knowledge of where in the store to find said wiper blade.
After wandering around for a few minutes trying to look purposeful, I stumble across the wiper blade aisle. Yep that’s right, a whole aisle. Somebody else must agree with my “safety twenty-first” philosophy. Triumphantly I begin to peruse the many options. Out of nowhere at my elbow appears a smiling young black man who asks me what my name is. I respond as every cynical middle aged white woman would in a moment like this. I say ”Why?”. Needless to say, “Who wants to know?” could be substituted here equally effectively. Having developed immunity to thinly veiled disrespect of this sort, the young black man smiled and calmly said “just tell me your name”. My toughness actually composed of only the most flimsy façade; I don’t hesitate even a second before I say simply “Evelyn”. (No last name as I wasn’t born yesterday you know) At this point the would-be-stalker kindly returns my Discover card which I had carelessly dropped somewhere on the floor of the store while I zeroed in on my wiper blade search.
Simultaneously laughing, apologizing, and thanking him I noticed the aforementioned “would be-stalker’s” black sweatshirt (usually a dead giveaway of the criminal element) actually had the words ‘Salvo Auto parts’ emblazoned on it in surprisingly large yellow letters. I said to myself “Boy I really am a great multi-tasker to notice this”. However, hindsight being twenty-twenty, that might have been an earlier clue that this “would-be-stalker” was actually a nice store employee. I now pass this tip on to you; although keep in mind, uniforms can be faked. Well maybe not in the same store that the uniform is advertising, but criminals are clever and apparently I am not.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6