I was assaulted by, I mean, encountered, the “Vwhat, you don’t like agave?” Costco lady today. She’s the lady in the “Pure Honey” chapter in my book, I Punched Myself in the Eye. I actually didn’t recognize her until she badgered, I mean, questioned me, on my excessive purchase of Cetaphil Moisterizing Cream. I guess large quantities really get her motor runnin.’

 

Today, it went down like this.

 

She began scanning my four large packages of Cetaphil, looks up at me (it wasn’t so much a scowl as it was, yeah, it was a scowl) in her thick Russian-y timbre and barks, “You like all dis?”

 

And that’s when I connected the dots. Oh, this is that lady.

 

“Yes, I have dry skin and this is the only thing that helps.” If you must know.

 

Scowl got a little scowlier. She shrugs and says, insufficiently camouflaging her disgust, “I MAKE MY OWN.”

 

I stare at her, and then say a teeny, “Ah.”

 

“I make it with de coconut oil and de glycerin.”

 

“You make it with coconut oil and glycerin?”

 

“NO, NOT LYSTERINE, GLYC-ER-IN.”

 

“Okay.” I walked in fifty-three, and now I’m just three.

 

I decide to engage, playfully. Take back those fifty years. “Well, gosh maybe you can make some for me.” I add a smile.

 

She stares me down.

 

I’m back to three.

 

She reaches over to a bottle next to the cash register and nods to indicate she needs my hand.

 

I offer my hand.

 

She shakes out out some of her Glycerin-not-Lysterine potion onto my scaly hand. I rub it in.

 

She leans in as if she’s Edward Snoden revealing classified CIA information. I lean in, too. Her eyebrows go up. “Vwhat, YOU want to MAKE some of DIS?” She doesn’t wait for me to answer. “Get a jar of de glycerin and mix two teaspoons of de coconut oil.” The lady to her left putting stuff into flat boxes for me chimes in, assuming I’d need it and says softly, “You can get the coconut oil here, glycerin at Wal-Mart.” She looks frightened.

 

Vwhat Lady hands me my receipt and gives me the standard nod of acknowledgement I only see in dude-to-dude encounters where they don’t resort to words.

 

I force a smile, accept the receipt with my now super soft hand, and nod back.