We were settling in for a quick lunch after church with some friends. We were two families merged into one, managing multiple children, diaper bags, high chairs, bibs, and preferences. As Robb was handling Tuck, who was dangerously near an all-out-tantrum, I heard a man say, "Well, those are some good looking kids you have there. Do you pay extra for such cute ones?"
I look up, and there is a very kind, friendly, and well-dressed man in his fifties, shaking hands with my husband. My bewildered husband, I might add, who is not at all sure how to answer that question. Instead, he smiled and said, "Hi, I'm Robb."
"And I'm Steve. Would you mind if I ask your beautiful wife or girlfriend a question?"
And suddenly I was involved, since I was the 'beautiful wife or girlfriend.' I looked more closely at Steve, just sure I must know this person who is so boldly entering my family's space. Nothing. No recall of this face at all. Robb granted permission, and Steve turned his conversation to me.
"Hello, ma'am. You are quite lovely."
"Well, thank you." Who is this guy?? Not that I am opposed to such affirmation...
"I was just wondering... where might my daughter get a pair of those shoes you are wearing? Red, strappy sandals. Just her style. I would love to know."
My shoes? He wants to know about my shoes?
"Well, a friend gave them to me, actually."
"A friend gave them to you? For free? Well, she sure must love you!"
"Yes, I think she does."
"So, you don't know where she got them?"
"Well, no, but I do believe I could find out."
(Meanwhile, Robb is now nearly wrestling with Tucker, who has tumbled over the precipice into all-out-meltdown. Tyler is nearly invisible in his compliance. Thank you, Lord.)
Steve, my new friend, now glances at the table to see the rest of our crew, the family who is an extension of ours.
"Are these all your children?"
"No, just these two." I pointed.
"Well, this is the first time we've come here on a Sunday, and I'll tell you what, we'll come again just for the entertainment. All these young families with small children - it is something to watch, I'll tell ya. And what do you do?"
"What do I do? Oh, I'm a mom and a teacher."
"Now, you see, I just knew it. I knew you were a teacher..."
He went on to tell me about his wife, mother, sister, and daughter, all of whom are teachers and have well-equipped him to spot one a mile away. Which leads me to wonder how long he has been spying on me. And my shoes.
"Now, seriously. About those shoes. I'd love to know. May I call you?"
Call? That's a little on the personal side, Mr. Strappy Sandals. "Do you do email?"
"Oh, sure! Let's email. I'd just love to know where she can find those."
And so we exchanged email, Steve and me. He joined his crew of teachers in the family who were heading out the door, and I commenced with my own family of hungry meltdowns in the making. And we all raised our eyebrows at one another, since that is really a conversation I have never quite had. Ever.
No word from him yet, and although I found out that the sassy shoes (which are often a conversation piece, truly) are from Ross, I haven't yet drafted my email to tell him so.
You just never know, people. You never do.