Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Sensitive Subject

A self-conscious disclaimer: I really hope this isn’t an insensitive post, and by telling this story, I am not passing judgment. Rather this incident sparked a curiosity/wonderment that has stayed with me all week.

So as I was in Old Navy this week for the 9th time, I saw an old co-woker of mine from my Eddie Bauer days. I immediately hid my face in an effort to avoid eye contact, as is my social M.O. mainly because I don’t remember names sometimes…often…almost always.

But walking out to my car I ran smack dab into this girl and inadvertently made eye contact. So then we both fumbled and got the names straight. Amidst the small talk, I noticed she was loading her two adorable small boys into a fairly new white Escalade (the one with gold trim, minus the Moroni antenna topper…).

I remembered that her husband had been a student, and two years ago (the last time I’d seen her) he had joined the National Guard to supplement their income. She was pregnant, and worked part-time at Eddie Bauer to help make ends meet. They must be doing well, I thought.

So I asked, “How is your husband doing?”

“Oh, he passed away.”

I was totally shocked. “I am so sorry. When?”

“About two years ago. He was training in Tooele and was involved in a truck roll-over accident.”

I must admit that I was first shocked and second sad to hear this, but that my THIRD reaction was “So you bought an Escalade?” I didn’t say this, of course…

But as the awkward conversation dwindled, all I could think of was the Escalade. She has two little boys, and a HUGE, expensive, conspicuously extravagant luxury SUV.

People express their grief in different ways. Not to say she wasn’t grieving. But an Escalade?

Later that day, after much personal reflection, I assured Todd that if he died suddenly I wouldn’t buy an Escalade.

“That’s nice of you,” he said. “But if you die I’m getting a Ducati.”


Suzie Petunia said...

I didn't realize Todd was a motorcycle guy. :)

I was recently in the home of my friend whose husband was killed in a car accident less than 3 months ago. The only thing that looks different about the house is that there are a LOT of photos of him around.

And she replaced the minivan that was in the accident with another minivan.

mo said...

What's a Ducati and is it really good enough to replace you?

Cameron H said...

it's all about priorities and preception

Amy Lynn said...

C'mon didn't find a way to press for some details? Was she remarried? I'm so curious now. I've got to teach you how to press for details without letting people know you are pressing for details...

sugarbritches said...

Are you saying an Escalade is NOT a good replacement for a husband? Hum... I guess I'll have to rethink my priorities.

Lisa M. said...

I am wondering how I will ever afford a van to carry Ethan in. Humm. *chuckle*

I would have wondered too!