I pull up to the drive-in teller in the red Dodge Charger I drive for more than two weeks now after the accident, the car that people say is “so not me.” She calls me Murielle from the microphone behind the window, the name on the checks I am depositing for my daughter. I let her know that Murielle is my daughter and she hesitates, looks away, and refers to me again as – Mrs. Miller.
And when she sends the deposit slip back in the tray, she holds up a piece of candy wrapped in orange wax paper. Explains that the bank gives away peanut butter chews to customers today, says it’s like a Mary Jane.
I tell her that sounds good but I have never heard of a Mary Jane. Her eyes, they get big as buttons on a winter coat and she asks, “Well, you have heard of a squirrel nut haven’t you?”
“No,” I say sheepishly. “I haven’t heard of a squirrel nut.” Other than the ones that lay in my yard I think.
Then she begins to list other candies to which I am unfamiliar. For some reason, this is important to her. That we share this knowledge. Tells me they are all penny candy and assures me that I have surely had penny candy at some point in my life.
I offer the suggestion that perhaps this is a regional thing. Explain that I didn’t grow up in this part of the country.
She shakes her head in disbelief and I feel like I want to disappear into the car seat. Tell her maybe I have led a sheltered life. Apologize for my ineptness regarding penny candy. Feel like an alien.
And then I wonder. Do I do this? Do I alienate people when I talk about spiritual things? Or anything for that matter. Assume they have a frame of reference with which to engage in my conversation?
How many times have I talked in a way that makes others feel like they want to disappear?
When I ponder this I have the same reaction that comes when I eat too much candy corn in the Fall. Yuck and why?
A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook. ~Proverbs 18:4