Feeling utterly foolish, I decided to get to the grocery store – surely there was something there that I had needed and put on that infernal list; it would come to me as I cruised the aisles…and so I set off again. Once I had found a spot in the parking lot, I felt a return to my efficient self – I had gone grocery shopping without a list plenty of times and survived. I could do this. So, I grabbed a cart and began to stride purposefully in. Not three steps in, I was stopped by a friendly voice: “Mrs. Smith, how are you…happy holidays!!”
I did not recognize this lovely lady – although she seemed to know me quite well. This happens when you teach the upper grade levels; you see parents on back to school night, maybe on a field trip or two, or if they’ve requested a conference. They are not familiar faces as they are in the elementary grades. Often it takes just a minute or two to put the pieces together (usually from the gist of the conversation) and connect student to the parent in front of me…but not this time. Luckily, she was more interested in talking to me than with me, and I was able to end the conversation with holiday wishes all around before she could cotton on to the fact that I was clueless about her identity.
I wandered up and down aisles feeling a bit deflated – two memory lapses in a row had left me feeling unsettled. Should I make a valiant effort to shop without that list…should I call it quits, or go home and get the list? Deciding to do the latter, I plucked up two poinsettia plants on the way out – just in case anyone saw me get home empty handed.