When Jessica Brown visited her local Target Monday morning, she wanted nothing more than to engage in small talk. Or, at least that’s what the no less than two dozen people must have thought when they stopped to chat her up on everything from the changing weather to the color of her daughter’s socks.
It all started when the mom-of-four pulled into a parking space and began unloading her kids from the family’s Chrysler Pacifica.
“Whoa, got your hands full?” chuckled passerby, 68-year-old Barney Wilson.
“Are they all yours?” asked a second stranger, 42-year-old Marcy Mayer.
“Some weather we’re having,” remarked an unknown fellow in a baseball cap as Brown worked to wrestle a hat onto her oldest son outside the vehicle.
Moments later, as Brown passed through the store’s sliding glass doors, she was accosted by a local grandmother who stopped to ask her children’s ages. As Brown’s twin toddlers took turns punching each other, the chatty grandmother began telling Brown about a school play her own grandchildren were in over the weekend.
Minutes later, Brown was free of conversation and hurried over to the Target Starbucks for a caffeinated pick-me-up. “Are they all yours?” asked the female barista who was way too chipper for 8 a.m.
“Got your hands full?” winked another passing stranger as Brown took a desperate gulp from her venti Americano.
The incessant questioning continued through the Dollar Spot, the Hearth & Hand collection, and the paper towel aisle. As Brown picked up some Pampers for her youngest in the diaper aisle, a local father stopped to give her some potty-training tips.
Later, as her 4-year-old begged for Skittles, Brown quickly scanned items at the self-checkout before being prompted to “Please wait for assistance.”
“Are they all yours?” asked the store associate who arrived to troubleshoot the checkout problem.
After collecting her bags and receipt and wrangling her four children, Brown worked to make a quick exit from the store, but not before 55-year-old Karen Hummell, manager of a neighboring Pier 1 Imports, stopped Brown to inquire about her children’s ages.
“Enjoy every minute,” called another stranger as Brown rushed toward her minivan, avoiding all eye contact.
About the Author
Candace is a practicing attorney, working parents advocate, freelance writer, and proud mom. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Fairygodboss, Reality Moms, Her View From Home, Perfection Pending, and other places around the web. She can be found writing about law, motherhood, and more on her blog as The Mom at Law. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.