I went to Target yesterday to buy a new battery for my camera*. And while I was there, I was in the swim aisle picking out kickboards for the kids when I heard, "Will you do me a favor and bring me the pink one?" Sure, I thought, but I'm holding a blue one and a purple one. Which one do you think is pink? I looked up at the person who wanted me to bring the non-existent pink kickboard to them and she smiled at me and said, "I think it'll be better if maybe we go away in June versus August."
Now this, my friends, had me totally flummoxed. I didn't know this woman, yet here we were planning our vacation together in the middle of Target. I did not understand. But while I stood there with my brow furrowed and my mind feverishly trying to figure out what to say to this obviously crazy lady, she turned around and I saw the little phone attachment connected to her ear. And this is when it dawned on me that she was talking on the phone. She was having a conversation with someone who did know her (and who obviously had something pink she wanted.) And that someone was not me.
So I continued on with my shopping and stewed in my emotions a little. I ended up leaving the store teetering on the mad side; a little pissed, if you will. I mean, I know that she did not do anything intentionally mean to me. Nor did she even try to be rude to me specifically. But what made me mad was that I felt like a fool. Because she looked me in the eye and smiled and spoke, I thought she was talking to me. How silly of me.
At least when I have a phone conversation in the middle of the store--oh yes, I do it. I am not the paragon of politeness I wish I was--I have the decency to cower at the end of the aisle so no one thinks I'm speaking to them. I do not make eye contact unless it is absolutely necessary. And I don't have one of those attachments that makes it look as if I am not on the phone at all. You'll know if I'm speaking on the phone because of the phone attached to my head; the universal signal for I'm not speaking to you, I'm on the phone. In other words, I do the exact opposite of what this lady was doing.
*And I still don't have a battery for my camera.