Terribly Awkward

About two weeks ago, Tuan and I made plans to meet another couple, Matt and Sheila for lunch. I had an OB appointment scheduled after lunch, so I drove into town by myself. We'd planned to eat at Aladdin in Fondren, which is one of my favorite places to eat. Arriving early, I decided to go over to the Rainbow co-op to browse and get some tea tree oil. Since the earnest vibe of Fondren usually rubs off on me, I got the bright idea to leave my car parked at Rainbow and walk over to the restaurant. Aladdin's parking is so limited I figured I'd help them out and Tuan could run me back to the car after lunch.

Long boring back story aside, as I'm walking through the parking lot towards Old Canton Road, I realize there is a guy standing on the side of the busy street holding a sign. He was dressed in what looked like blue scrubs and wearing a mask. Since his back was to me, I had no idea what the mask was, but being in Fondren, I thought, "Oh no, this guy is probably an abortion protester and now I, with my huge pregnant belly am going to have to stand beside him and wait to cross this super busy street." I could actually see through the sign and the word choice was visible (albeit backwards). Whether he was protesting for or against abortion, it was just going to be awkward. Nevertheless, I kept walking and thought something along the lines of, "I will stand for truth and life and if he is pro-choice, this will be very interesting."

As I step up onto the sidewalk, I can finally see what the mask is and read the sign. The blue scrubs were a perfect companion to the GENIE mask that the guy waving a sign about making a choice to eat at Aladdin was wearing. It was awkward--just not in an important values kind of way. I had to stand there FOREVER waiting for a chance to cross the street and being Southern, I was compelled to make small talk with the person next to me--no matter how ridiculous the costume or the sign. So, we stood there, the pregnant lady earnestly trying to do the Fondren thing and cross a busy street at lunch, while making chitchat with a masked stranger dressed as a genie and waving a sign. The WALK sign never changed, but I did find a group of brave souls to cross the street with and cross it I did, breathing a sigh of relief and glad for the Genie-free oasis shelter that was waiting.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

What a great story! The lights in Fondren are dreadful.