There's Something About Ruby

I don't know what it is but it seems like Ruby has been a stranger magnet lately. And I'm not talking about just any old stranger off the street. I'm talking about the "special" people. A few weeks ago, a female Wendy's employee, one of these said "special" people, came up to us and yakked our ears off about how all babies just burst into smiles when she smiles at them. Well, I guess we broke her streak because Ruby wouldn't even look at her but it didn't phase her, she just kept telling us story after story about kids beaming at her.

Then today, the white trash in me came out and we went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and then had lunch at their McDonald's (I already said it was the white trash in me rearin' its ugly head!) and while we're sitting there minding our own business, clogging our arteries, one of their "special" clean-up employees comes up to us and launches into this crazy conversation.

She asks me if I did my Christmas shopping today. I say, "No. I've got my kids so I can't spoil the surprise, right?" So then she goes off, and she's almost worried about it, about how I need to leave the kids home TONIGHT with my husband, but maybe I can bring the baby along because she won't know, but for sure I can't bring my boy because it'll ruin his surprise, and I should come back to Wal-Mart TONIGHT to get all my shopping done, and I need to check with my husband to see if he can take my boy TONIGHT because I need to come back to Wal-Mart to do all my Christmas shopping TONIGHT.

So then she says, "So, you just grocery shopped today? Oh [looking into all the bags in my cart]! You got some new shoes?!?"

"No," I say, "they're not for me. They're for my little boy."

"Oh," she bursts, "but these aren't sneakers!"

"No," big sigh, but still trying to be super polite as I respond in between each artery-clogging bite, "they're not sneakers, they're dress shoes for him to wear to church with his Christmas outfit."

"Oh. His Christmas outfit."

"Right, his Christmas outfit."

Then she starts ooohing and aaahing over Ruby (who is still sitting in the seat of the cart, right next to me) and how cute she is and where did I get her headband and her bracelet, and look how her shoes match her outfit!, and does she like Christmas? etc. Of course Ruby is embarrassed and won't make eye contact so she's ducking her head down towards my purse and our "special" friend says, "Oh, you like your mama's purse? What's in there? Look, what's in there?"

And then she proceeds to OPEN MY PURSE and starts shuffling things around to try to grab Ruby's attention.


So Ruby starts going to town, pulling crap out. And as she does, our friend gets this concerned look on her face and says, "Oh here Mama. It looks like she wants this ... wait ... what is this?"

"Um ... that's lotion," I reply with an amazed look on my face as she starts handing me the stuff.

"Here, you better take this. She wants your lotion."

"Uh ... thanks."

"Oh here Mama. She wants this bag of stuff too ...... and uh-oh, here comes your wallet. You probably better hold on to that. And what's this? Oh, your checkbook. Yeah, here, take that."

And it goes on until our friend (because Ruby has lost interest in the contents of my purse) pulls out every random receipt, scrap of paper, penny, lip gloss, gum wrapper, and bouncy ball floating around in the dark crevices of my organizationally-deprived purse. And then finally, she hands me my purse and says, "Here Mama. Your baby took all the things out of your purse. You should probably put those things back in here."

"Thank you," was all I could say.