They were the third pair that day mulling over the used crock pot at the back of the thrift store. Ultimately, everyone shops the same. A teenaged girl and her mother–the girl holding up things she thought might suit her Mother, whose eyes grew wide with disagreement. Later, the mother would lift a sweater and watch her daughter’s eyes roll. They considered the crock pot. The daughter claimed she would definitely use it, with her friends, to, like, make some stuff. It remained unsold.
An elderly couple shuffled through, married long enough to use half the non-verbals of the mother and daughter. “Arthur?” He’d blink in her direction and she would set something down, or bring it closer for him to inspect. He sniffed toward the books and she waved him permission to skim. They stood over the crock pot without a sound, staring deep into it, before they headed–empty-handed after all that browsing–toward the door.
The crock pot received a more serious contemplation from a middle-aged woman with a silent husband. She had been giving him orders: “Look at this chair. It’s nice. Sit in it.” He sat. “Stand up.” He stood. “Look at these shoes, do they fit?” He sat to try them. “I don’t like them,” she called, shaking her head. He removed them and stood. Sh led him: “Look at this crock pot.” She listed the dishes her mother made in a crock pot, and the dishes her friends had made in their crock pots–making the whole culinary leave-it-be experience sound rather enjoyable. “I’m getting it.”
Finally, the meek man spoke: “Baby. We have a crock pot.” “We do?” “We have two.”
She paused for a full beat, running a mental scan of her storage spaces. “I’ll have to make something in it someday.” He went back to mute, nodding and following, as they moved–arms overflowing–to the register.