The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Deliberation: To Crock Pot Or Not

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.


sneakerness, Vienna

Not in the thrift shop. At a Sneaker Show in Vienna.

19 comments on “The Deliberation: To Crock Pot Or Not

  1. Enchanted Seashells
    January 23, 2013

    I loved this! Crock pots figure prominently in conversations with our son. we are always nagging him to use it so he’ll have nourishing food when he gets home from work (Yale prof-a very young one!) This was also kind of me and hubs at the thrift store we went to. Very funny!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 23, 2013

      🙂 Thanks! I was so glad to be there spying! We told my sister to use hers, but she’s afraid the house will burn down while she’s away. Somehow beautiful roast isn’t enough to coax her…yet!

  2. longtooth77
    January 23, 2013

    Got Mackelmore’s ‘Thrift shop’ playing in my head now 🙂

  3. Christina
    January 23, 2013

    This is probably my favorite post yet.

  4. Paul J. Stam
    January 23, 2013

    Thank God my crock-pot days are over. It may have been the cook, but I’ve never had a meal from the crock-pot that I thought was really good.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 24, 2013

      Haha! I had two great crock-pot dishes over the weekend! I never managed to make anything work in there, myself. Perhaps it is the practitioner. There are so many domestic duties that escape me, alas. 🙂

  5. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman
    January 24, 2013

    I am happy that you dropped by my page, I enjoyed browsing through yours and am looking forward to reading more. Blessings – Patty

  6. Mary Ann
    January 24, 2013

    I’ve had my crock pot for 30 years. I hope it doesn’t konk out on me!

    It’s so fun to people watch. Thanks for bringing us along on the trip!

    Cute post!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 24, 2013

      Thanks so much! If you’re in the market for a replacement, there’s a used and unwanted one at the thrift shop. 🙂

  7. Alarna Rose Gray
    January 25, 2013

    This is excellent! Made me smile – it says everything there is to say about thrift shopping! But we love it 🙂

  8. Browsing the Atlas
    January 25, 2013

    You really captured human interactions in this one. I loved it. I culd see the whole thing in my mind and wonder what you would have written about me and my mom, or my husband, or my daughter as we browsed through a thrift shop.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 25, 2013

      Hey, thanks! At least I am a kind spy! 🙂 I know Mom and I often offer up clothes that leave the other aghast. Hehe. It’s part of the fun, I suppose.

  9. Kavi
    January 25, 2013

    What a great observational story! Coincidentally, I used a crockpot for the very first time this week, so this post made me smile 🙂

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 25, 2013

      Haha! What a nice coincidence. How did it turn out?

      • Kavi
        January 27, 2013

        It actually turned out really well! I just posted the recipe (crockpot mac & cheese for a crowd), if you want to check it out 🙂

      • thenicethingaboutstrangers
        January 27, 2013

        Hmm, where would I find a crowd… ? 😀

  10. adinparadise
    January 25, 2013

    Love this story. 😀

  11. Pingback: Southern Cooking - Crock Pot or Crack Pot? - Far From Normal

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