Tuesday, March 27, 2012

THE MORMONS GOT IT WRONG

A TRUE STORY, WITH apologies to any Mormons reading this...
About a month ago, a group of us, Board members from SPOTS (http://onley-spots.blogspot.com/), went across the Bay to a Train Show at the VA Beach Convention Center. I was the only female with 4 of our male Directors. I was excited as it would be my first train show and I was anxious to see and learn. I don’t even pretend to know anything about model trains, so several of the men who have extensive train layouts of their own were going to teach me, as I really need to know about model trains in order to help get our education program up and running.
As some of you know, I cannot walk very far – I am lucky to be walking at all having been told many years ago I would never walk again after a really bad car accident. So, I took my wheel chair. The guys were more than wonderful, helping to push me thru the huge parking lot and into the building. That convention center is enormous! I never could have walked it. One guy or the other stayed with me almost all the time, gladly explaining the differences in the engines, types of track, names of the different cars, what they would have been used for in a real train… it was like being with a couple of train professors! It was GREAT!
I knew I wanted to buy some N scale cars, maybe an engine if I could find a blue one that vaguely resembled what runs here on the shore, and I was happy to see so many N scale trains at the show. (Check the SPOTS blog for the size of N scale and what I bought.) For example, the N scale engine I bought is no longer than a ball point pen. One or another of the men advised me and actually made the decisions for me when we had several things to choose from, after explaining the differences. They were extremely kind and attentive. One section of the show had some cool N scale kits. Dennis looked the kits over and we found something we thought would be just perfect. He explained everything to me; I put the kit aside, and continued to look for some box cars that were plain and of good color that we could put our station logo on. See, I don’t mind shopping like a woman – “What do you want, dear?” “Oh, something in blue…” I even use that when I buy cars! Tho’ today, I say “a van in blue.” But the logic in multiple bright colors in train cars (yeah, there IS some logic here) is because it will attract the kids better than a bunch of cars all the same, same color, same shape – which might be more authentic, I admit, but is also atheistically very boring. And we will be looking to keep kids interested in what we are doing, even if it is only learning shapes and colors with the littlest kids. “Can you find a car that is like a cylinder?” There are ‘shape ID’ SOLs for several grade levels. I also needed stuff for the scenery (my department) and buying stuff on line just wasn't working out real well.
Anyway, I digress, as usual… after I picked out what I wanted, it was time to pay the girl who was working the table with her husband. They were young, under 30, I am sure, but at this point in my ancient life, they all look like high school kids just as when I was in my teens and 20s, anyone over 50 was ancient! I pulled out the checkbook, made out the check, and looked around for Niall to co-sign the check as the group would be buying the train set, and the checks require 2 signatures. The girl saw me looking around and, seeing Dennis at the end of the aisle said, “Your husband is over there.”
“Oh, no,” I said – the word husband having not registered in my brain yet – “I need the one in the yellow jacket. Be right back…” as I rolled off in search of Niall. I found Niall and brought him back to look at what Dennis and I had picked out, he thought it was a good purchase, and co-signed the check. If we were getting funny looks from the kids selling the stuff, I did not notice. Not yet.
Time went by, we all split and rejoined each other here and there throughout the show, but I usually had someone by my side or nearby to explain things to me, suggest that I needed this one, not that one, and why. Like I said, I felt like a kid in school with the experts teaching Model Trains, 101. After a while, I went back to the table where I had found the N train kit and looked for some more box cars. This time Tom was with me. We picked out a few more cars, but rather than try to chase Niall down, I just put them on my credit card. Tom was also very attentive, enjoying teaching the rookie and watching someone get bitten by the Train bug. It was at this time the girl really took notice that I was with 3 different men. But when I showed up with Pat to show him an HO car I wanted and to pick up some stuff for the scenery, she really began looking at me kind of funny. I mean, here I was, an old lady in a wheel chair, with 4 men acting like what she was doing or buying was actually important to them. Of course, it did not keep her from taking my money.
We left the show at 2 PM, meeting each other at the entrance, maybe 30 feet away from the kids where I had made several purchases. As I rolled down their aisle on my way to meet the guys, the devil whispered in my ear. I rolled up to the young woman who definitely recognized me at this time – I might have been her best customer that day, who knows? She might have thought I was going to buy yet another couple cars or more track, so she greeted me with a smile, then looked around to see which man was in attendance. But I was alone, just passing by to get to the guys and go home. However, I stopped and quietly said to her, “Ya know, those Mormons have it all wrong. I mean, if a man can have several wives, why can’t a woman have several husbands?” Her eyes looked shocked but her face lit up in a big grin as she contemplated the idea. Her husband, having overheard my comment stepped in closer and started telling her in a slightly louder than usual voice, “Don’t listen to her, don’t listen to her!”


There stood the guys innocently waiting at the entrance, not having any idea what was being said 30 feet away… “I mean, look, 4 paychecks instead of one. Think of the shopping you can do! Always someone handy to fix things around the house…”
“DON’T LISTEN TO HER! SHUT YOUR EARS!” her husband was shouting and hitting (not hard) her arm. “DON’T LISTEN TO ANY OF THAT, ITS JUST WRONG!” Shoot, I thought the boy was going to cry! He did not tell me to go away, after all, I had spent a couple hundred dollars there that day, he had not lost sight of that, but he was getting worried! And his wife was grinning… in shock with what the old lady in the wheelchair was telling her, but her fantasies were running away with her, nonetheless, I could tell. Ah, youth...
“Don’t knock it until you try it, honey,” I said as I winked and rolled away. “Hey guys! Sorry, just wanted to say goodbye to (I forget her name). I’m coming!” I could hear him still carrying on back behind us as one of the men took over pushing my chair over the carpet and out into the sunlight, out to the Yukon. I smiled all the way home.
I bet she still thinks about it.

7 comments:

Carolyn said...

Ah, Jan, you did good. I'm proud of you! laughing and giggling at your "unmitigated gall" - oh, had to use that term, since it has been on my mind all morning, wanting to use it in a post of my own. Mom used it a lot too. Yet, will that young husband carry your words in his mind forever? Bless all the ignorance and the poor ignorant idiots abounding about! I bet your remarks will make the 'gossip' rounds, maybe even for years and generations. I can almost picture his facial expression! HaHaHa.

ancient one said...

Loved your story of your adventure. Yep, I expect they are still talking about you! LOL

Loretta said...

Oh my goodness! How funny! Wish I had been there. You know what? I could use three more paychecks.lol

troutbirder said...

Oh wicked. I love it....

Ginnie said...

You little devil, Jan ! I love the fact that the men never knew what you were up to.

Ralph said...

That is SO funny. But I bet you are right - she probably is still thinking about it.
Ralph

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Oh, are you subversive!!!