I don't buy new shoes for kids whose feet are growing, or for kids who leave their shoes out in the rain, at friends' houses, etc. So I bought a used pair for Noah from someone online for $2, and we agreed to meet at Casey's in Pekin to make the exchange last night.
It was dark and raining at the time we were to meet. Casey's has a pretty big parking lot, and there were lots of vehicles there. I ruled out the ones pumping gas and looked for a car off by itself. There was one in the corner, so I pulled up next to it, but nobody was in it. Then a car pulled in and parked way over in another corner away from everyone else. Ah. This must be the shoe lady.
My first clue should have been that it wasn't a lady at all, but a middle aged man. I reasoned that she must have sent someone else to make the exchange for her, since he rolled down his window as I approached his car. He looked expectant and said hello but didn't produce any shoes. I said, "Do you have shoes?" He looked baffled, glanced at his feet and said, "Yeeesss. Why?"
Awkward social moment. There I am, standing in the rain outside a stranger's car at a gas station in the dark, and he thinks I want his shoes. I said, "I mean, are you here to meet someone for shoes?" He said, "No...?" and I mumbled, "Oh. Sorry, never mind."
I went back to my car, drove to the opposite conspicuous corner of the lot, parked for a minute, and then a lady pulled up next to me. She stuck the shoes out the window, I stuffed a couple bucks into her hand, and was back on the road in two seconds.