What happens when you get caught?
June 9, 2019

I’m at Target, waiting for Darrell, with nothing to do but notice people on their way out of the store. A guy tosses his basket on the pile, but misses. The baskets nest easily and it’s almost impossible within a certain range to miss. He turns around, gets closer, grabs the basket and…misses again.

I’m doing my best not to let on I’ve noticed, just as the two of us make eye contact. There’s enough time to realize (1) I’m about to start giggling, and (2) he’ll go back and take care of that basket once and for all.

I don’t giggle. He keeps walking out of the store.

“So what?” you might say. So it’s a fascinating study in human behavior, I’d counter.

“Why,” I ask Darrell later, “would you not go back a third time when you’ve already invested two tries in basket nesting?”

“Because it’s embarrassing!” Darrell says.

Is this a gender thing? I would’ve kept going for as long as it took, and if I saw someone watching me I would’ve joked about what a slippery little sucker that basket was.

It isn’t that I’m born to make fun of myself. Maybe I’m born to show people it’s okay to screw up. And screw up again. And again!