Once we were at Kroger we decided to divide up to make the trip quicker. I headed down the baking aisle for syrup. As I was deciding on a pancake topping the lady behind me asked if I shopped at that store often. I giggled because it sounded like a pick-up line but for the fact we were in a grocery store and it was a grandmother asking. Little did I know.
The lady told me she was looking for one last ingredient for a dish she was preparing for a family meal. I explained that I did not know the store well or the town well. The sweet lady asked why I was so unfamiliar. I told her I had just moved from Nashville, TN (not to be confused with Nashville, AR). My new acquaintance smiled and began to tell me about a family from Nashville that goes to church with her. I told her I had heard of the family because I was visiting FBC with my family while I was in town.
We then exchanged a few more pleasantries before I left with my syrup. I asked for her name. Mrs. Burns was a delightful woman. As I was turning to leave she asked me if I was married. Since we had been talking about church I assumed she was still on that line of thinking. I told her I was single, and that prompted her next question, "How old are you?" When I told her I was 41 she stared at me with wide eyes. (I have to admit that I LOVE that response.) She said, "Heavens child, I thought you were going to say 25. I have a grandson I wanted to introduce you to." Still smiling from her surprise I began to laugh when she told me she wanted to set me up with her grandson. She told me not to laugh because she was serious. She told me she thought I was cute, and she wanted a cute wife for her grandson so she could have cute great-grandchildren. She then told me that what she wanted most was a godly woman.
I must say that by this time I was feeling quite good. This woman was full of compliments. We said our goodbyes and I left. Upon exiting the aisle I saw a manager and asked where Mrs. Burns missing ingredient could be located. I went back to tell her where to look and bid farewell again.
Once I found my parents I told them about my encounter. They thought it was amusing and sweet. A few minutes later we ran into Mrs. Burns, and I introduced Mom & Dad. Mrs. Burns began to gush to my parents about meeting me. I just stood there, taken aback by her delight. Then she asked my mom a question out of left field. She wanted to know the name of Mom's doctor. She said her son was a doctor and she was always on the lookout for new patients for him. She then told us that Dr. Burns was an OB/GYN and practiced in the next town over (30 minutes away).
I wish you could have seen the looks on Mama's and Daddy's faces. This prompted the first words from my father since the initial introductions. He shook his head and said, "We don't need any of those kind of doctors anymore."
Mrs. Burns went on to say that what she really wanted was to introduce me to her son. She told me that he made several hundred thousand dollars a year. With a wink she asked if I thought I could live on that amount. She continued to tell Mama that she was impressed with me and thought it would be a great idea to get their two children together.
By this point I had been standing for several minutes without uttering a word and had gone through every shade of embarrassment visible to the human eye. Finally, I turned to Daddy and tugged on his elbow. Playfully, I said, "Daddy, this would be a good time for you to come to my rescue." Daddy, not sure of what to make of the meeting, just laughed and said, "Rescue you? I want to get rid of you."
My hero. (I may have to amend a previous post about this man.)
Mrs. Burns then turned to me and explained that several years ago arranged marriages were the norm. She continued by saying that many arranged marriages were not only successful but quite happy. Finally, I was invited to her home the following Saturday to help her in the kitchen. Mrs. Burns said she was cooking for her entire family that day and would love my company. To be honest, I'm sure it would have been.
Then Mrs. Burns told my mom that she was sure she sounded as if she were a little crazy, but she just wanted the best for her son. She said she prayed for her son everyday, including prayers for a godly wife. She told my mom that she thought I was adorable and she would be proud to have me for a daughter-in-law. Mrs. Burns said that in those few minutes she was sure of my character and personality, and she was convinced I would be a great choice.
I must say that I've never had that impression on a person before. I wish I could figure out exactly what I did and duplicate it when needed. Not that it would do much good. As I explained to my mother, I'm great with seniors, so I don't think the same would work with their sons. At least it hasn't so far.
Before we left Mrs. Burns wrote down her name, address, and phone number in case I was free that Saturday. She then asked me for my name again. Mom was johnny-on-the-spot. She smiled big and said, "Tauna. T-A-U-N-A."
As we walked away my daddy leaned over and whispered, "I think you were just proposed to... by the mama." He got a soft elbow to the ribs. Mama simply asked, "So which apron do you want me to iron for you to wear Saturday?"
A few days later we, along with everyone else on the street, received a flyer from the medical center in the next county. And guess who's picture was in the flyer?
I walked into the living room to see my parents huddled over something. They looked up at me and smiled from ear to ear. I knew something was up and asked what they were doing. Daddy laughed and asked if I wanted to see a picture of my fiancee.
I didn't help Mrs. Burns cook that Saturday. My brother and his family came for a visit.
So that's the story. I love all you guys. I'll try to let you know what is happening in my new world as soon as I can.