It seems I am the youngest volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association by about 40 years or so. When I go in to help out with administrative duties my fellow volunteers are mostly retired. I try to get to know each of them personally. Charlotte is the newest volunteer. She has short gray hair, with heavy bangs cut straight across. She kind of has an Anna Wintour look to her, but not Anna's sophisticated her style.
She wore skinny jeans with Converse tennis shoes, not something I am used to seeing someone in their seventies wear. Certainly one of the coolest looking senior citizen I can ever recall laying eyes on. I struck up a brief conversation with her as we stuffed envelopes together and found her to be very interesting. I find I learn a lot if I take just a few minutes to listen to what an older person has to say. I am listening to her tell about her days living in New York City when mid-sentence she stops, looks at her watch and declares it is time for her to leave. I kindly say good-bye and watch her walk to what appears to be a storage closet. We are at the administrative offices in a standard, office building on the seventh floor. She pulls out her bicycle from the closet, complete with basket and all. I assume that since she has a bicycle she lives close by. It is raining outside, so I decide to ask if she needs a ride.
"I'm happy to drive you home. I don't want you riding your bike in the rain," I said.
"Thank you, but I live close and don't mind," Charlotte replies.
"I insist. Especially if you live close," I said.
I get her to agree and we head to my car. I have a small Honda with no bike rack which I had not thought about when I asked if she needed a ride. After a lot of maneuvering we managed to stuff the bicycle in the backseat of the car. The rain is really coming down.
"Where I am I going?" I ask Charlotte.
"If you want to take me somewhere, will you take me to Nordstrom's? There is a shoe sale," She said.
I'm not very good at saying no to people, especially hip senior citizens. I'm just wondering how she is going to take her bike into Nordstrom's, go shoe shopping, and get back home. We are 5 miles from Nordstrom's and we do not live in a city with friendly public transportation. I think there is a bus, but that is about my extent of knowledge of public transportation here. I drive her to the shoe sale in the rain storm the entire time trying to figure out in my head how this is going to work. Am I going to wait for her while she shops? Turns out that is exactly what I do. I wait for her to shop. She finds 4 pairs of nice shoes. I'm talking red bottom designer shoes that I'm pretty sure weren't on sale. Two hours after leaving the Alzheimer's Association I deliver Charlotte safetly home with her dry bicycle and four new pairs of shoes, wondering how I get myself into these situations.