The woman came right up to me and said,
"I just won't be able to leave this store if I don't speak to you."
My eyes widened.
It is not often that anyone speaks to me at the thrift store.
[Though I occasionally like to pull out really heinous Christmas sweaters - or the equivalent - and, while wearing a mischievous grin, tell the nearest person that I think the item would look great on them.]
I admit, I was curious.
Why did she need to talk to ME? Why couldn't she leave the store without doing so?
She took another step towards me and was so close that, I swear, I thought she might mean to kiss me.
"I need to tell you that God is waiting for you," she said and launched into a sermon.
I fully support every person's right to make their own religious choices and practice their faith freely and openly.
So... out of respect for her need to speak, I tried to hear what she felt called to say.
Two things tripped me up.
First, she was standing much too close to me.
I don't have particularly heightened personal boundary issues, but whoa.
Way. too. close.
Secondly, her breath was so bad that I could not concentrate on a word she said.
I am sure she had good intentions, but I found myself becoming increasingly angry and, quite frankly, offended.
She said something about how the lord wanted me to sit down at his table and dine with him and then she stepped EVEN CLOSER and asked me if there was anything she could do for me.
Though I so badly wanted to, I chose NOT to scream,
"STEP OFF, DRAGON BREATHING, EVANGELICAL CLOSE-TALKER!!!"
[Because that would not be respecting her practice or her need or whatever.]
I said, "no thank you."
She looked imploringly at me.
"Do you feel like you've said what you needed to say to me?" I asked.
She said that she had.
"Okay then. Thanks very much," I said, walking away and carrying on with my shopping.
I found myself getting angrier and angrier about the interaction -- and more and more offended.
While I respect her right to practice her religion I wonder if she has any idea how she made me feel.
Personal boundary and halitosis issues aside, she made me feel incredibly judged.
She chose me out of all the other people in that store because she decided I needed to be saved.
How would she know whether or not I am already saved?
What is it about me that looks so desperately evil, lost or sad that she would need to single me out like that?
Why am I so angry at her?