Somehow I have managed to avoid the part of adulthood that requires coffee to function in the morning. I've never liked it, and though I thought I'd probably pick up the habit in college, I never acquired the taste. I do, however, sometimes "need" a warm beverage on a chilly morning, so I'll grab a convenience store hot chocolate (aka cup of warm sugar). I'm not proud of it, but it's just so good.
One such morning, I was running a little late for work but had just enough time to stop at the nearest 7Eleven to get my hot chocolate. As I'm checking out, the cashier looks at me and says, "I guess you heard one of our employees, Laura, left us this week." As if I should know what she's talking about.
Now, I'm not trying to sound fancy, but I'm really more of a QT kind of girl. I don't really frequent the 7Eleven, and I especially do not pay much attention to the comings and goings of the employees. I don't know the lady I'm talking to, much less this Laura person. I wanted to be polite, though, so I responded, "No, I hadn't heard that. Where did she go?"
I'm sure if you watched the store surveillance video of this conversation and squinted really hard, you could probably see me putting the entirety of my size 9 foot into my mouth at this very moment. Because without missing a beat, the cashier says, "Well, I hope she went to Heaven. She did know the Lord."
Y'all. My face. I have this disorder where whenever I have a feeling, it goes straight to my face to express itself. Some people call it a bad attitude, but there's really nothing I can do to control it. Can you imagine what my face did right then?? There is no way I kept a straight face, but I tried to hold it together to pay for my drink and get out of there.
But before I could make a run for it, I was informed that they had a picture of her on the back wall in case, you know, I wanted to pay my respects. Did I have a choice? I couldn't just walk out and not pay my respects to Laura, especially after questioning where she would be spending eternity. I owed it to her. So I proceeded back to the wall, where I found a black and white photocopied picture of Laura. She still didn't look familiar, but I stood there for a moment---as solemnly as I could muster---and counted to 25 before bolting to my car to share my mortification on Facebook.
Obviously, I thought that would be the end of it. But in the words of my favorite infomercial celebrity, Ron Popeil, BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE!
Although I swore that I'd never show my face at the 7Eleven again, I did...because...hot chocolate. The next time I was there, something caught my eye. Off to the side, on the wall by the nacho station, was a photo of Laura. This was not the original photo I had seen. This one was in color and in a frame. I stepped closer to get a better look, and I realized that this was simultaneously the best and worst memorial photo I've ever seen. In the photo, she is wearing a tshirt that says, in big bright letters, "Miss me yet?"
Miss me yet? MISS ME YET? Perfect, yes. But oh so wrong. For the second time, I found myself trying (marginally successfully) to keep it together over this woman's 7Eleven memorial. I made my escape, but every time I've been there since, I take a moment to peek over at that memorial by the nachos. It has really added a little something special to my 7Eleven experience.
As special as it is, though, I would like to publicly ask that you not memorialize me at the 7Eleven when my time comes. You can put my picture up at the QT by the slushies if you want, but please choose a good photo---preferably one that I've used as a Facebook profile picture. Those are my good ones. Don't just go pick one of my tagged photos or anything candid (Mama, I'm looking at you!), and definitely DON'T use the one in which I'm wearing my "Fat kids are harder to kidnap" shirt. I love that shirt, but I don't want to be the butt of someone's blog when I'm gone. (Sorry, Laura.)