Granted, the clientele is, well, different from what you'd find at Safeway or Fred Meyer, but I don't mind too much. It's never been that strange.
But yesterday was just weird.
When we were walking into the store, I noticed a lady with a bunch of what looked like bracelets inside of baggies walking around the parking lot. Ellie wondered if she was going to a birthday party, because why else would you have so many bracelets? But I forgot about her as soon as we got inside.
We did our shopping and left the store. Just as I got the car unlocked, the bracelet lady approached me. Apparently she made the bracelets herself and was selling them to support herself. Okay, I thought, we like bracelets in our house. They were nothing terribly fancy, but she was selling them for a dollar apiece, so I bought one for Ellie. She thanked me and moved on to the next potential
I hadn't even finished saying goodbye to the bracelet lady when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and found myself face-to-face with an older gentleman pushing a walker. He grunted a little (kind of like the no-face spirit in the movie Spirited Away - if you haven't seen it, you should) and held out a small green card. On it was printed: "I am DEAF. I am selling these cards with the DEAF ALPHABET to raise money. THANK YOU." On the back was a very small image of the manual alphabet.
I asked him (hoping he could lip-read) how much, and he held up first one, then two, then three, then four fingers, followed by a shrug. I assume he meant dollars.
I have no problem paying a dollar for a hand-made bracelet, but it seems like a bit much to pay for a business card-sized piece of paper with an extremely hard-to-read "deaf alphabet", especially when I, and all three of my children, for that matter, already know it. So I took matters into my own hands (ha!) and finger-spelled, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I can today." Sadly, I'm not 100% sure he even understood what I was saying.
Now, I truly am all for supporting those in need, and if I hadn't already given the bracelet lady a dollar, there's a good chance I might have gone ahead and paid for the little card, but really? What are the odds of being hit up twice in and afternoon? Or even in a day? Let alone in the space of two minutes, without even moving my feet?
WinCo (or at least its parking lot) is now officially a weird place for me.
After I got in the car, Ellie said I should have shown him that I know the signs for "more", "grumpy", and "silly".