The Eyes Have It

At the post office somebody had short-circuited the rope stanchion that ran the length of the outer room. Instead, they walked right up to the lady at the window which was near the entrance. It probably made sense for the first person, but now everyone after them lined up directly behind them.

As a result, the crowd was backed up out the door while the room remained empty. I didn’t know whether to stand at the back of the line by holding the door open, or shut the door and try to get the line to snake behind me indoors.

I like this post office, but they have never been very good at assigning the right amount of workers to handle the busy times.

It’s always busy right when they open. But they only had one person working and it was slow.

I noticed a lady over on the side trying to fill out a passport form without much progress. Finally she took off her big movie star sunglasses and had better luck. She told her kids in Spanish to sit down and be quiet. They answered in English that they were bored.

I finally got through the line and walked over to the same table where the lady had been to write some addresses on letters.

Sitting there were her sunglasses.

I should have picked them up and gone out to hand them to her, but my first instinct was to walk out the door to see if she had pulled out.

At the far end of the parking lot, I saw her husband waiting for the kids to get in the car so he could shut the door. She was already in the car.

There are several ways to say sunglasses.

You could say “lentes del sol” (sun lenses), “gafes del sol” (sun glasses), or “anteojos del sol” (“before eyes” for the sun).

But, as often happens, what I want to say in Spanish is not what comes out.

I called to her husband, pointing back at the post office, and said, “Señor, los ojos de la señora!” which is “Sir, the lady’s eyes!”

Maybe he thought, “Why is this crazy guy yelling at me there are eyeballs in the post office?”

But, without hesitation, he waved, smiled, walked back, grabbed them off the table, and said, “Gracias.”

The lady got her eyes back.