Let me start at the beginning. When I first started writing a weekly column in the Mountain Eagle, people would come up to me on occasion to say they read my column. I’ve always been flattered by this gesture.
These days, as my work appears in more and more publications, it has become very common for people to approach Jilda and me when we’re in restaurants and grocery stores to say that they read my work.
Since I often talk about Jilda in my writings, people recognize her when we’re out together.
Recently a woman said to Jilda, “it must be fun living with Rick!” I’m a little surprised that Jilda didn’t roll her eyes, but she simply smiled and said, “he’s a lot more amusing in print than he is at home.”
Then a few weeks ago I ran down to Walmart to pick up a few things while Jilda was working.
As I walked around the store, I saw a couple from a distance looking in my direction and smiling. I thought to myself, these are people who recognized me from the paper.
I smiled, nodded my head in acknowledgement, and finished up with the shopping. The things I needed took me all over the store.
After I loaded my stuff in the truck and got in to drive away, I noticed my pants were unzipped.
I sat there for a long moment and then I remembered the couple on aisle 12 smiling and looking at me.
In my mind, I was trying to figure out if they were smiling because they recognized me as the guy who writes for the paper, or were they smiling and saying to themselves; “Look at that guy prancing around Wal-Mart with his pants unzipped!”
Or, worse yet! “Look, there’s Rick Watson, the guy writes for the paper, prancing around Wal-Mart with his pants unzipped!”
For the record I was NOT prancing, but I think you get the picture? Even though I was sitting alone in my truck, my face started a slow blush that originated somewhere around my socks.
I debated on whether I should go back into Wal-Mart and try to find the couple to apologize, but it occurred to me that the whole store could have seen me traipsing around the store.
If my first blush wasn’t thorough enough, my brain threw up a fresh coat of crimson for good measure. When I looked in the mirror, it looked like I was sunburned.
When Jilda got home I told her the story and she laughed so hard she spewed ice tea on the coffee table. I have a feeling the next time one of those women makes a comment about how much fun it is living with me, she’ll tell them this story.
Since this episode, I’ve been so paranoid that I’m tempted to only wear pants with elastic waist bands and no zippers.
I’m here to tell you that whenever you get too cocky, life will bring you down a peg or two. When it comes to zippers, I’ve learned my lesson.....ALWAYS CHECK THEM!