Here is an unsolicited bit of advice: Don’t go to the Dairy Queen in a small town on Sunday night just about the time church lets out, unless you’re not in a hurry. I was out of town town trying to meet a time deadline, so I thought I would drive through the DQ. So did everyone else for miles around.

I decided counter service certainly would be faster. I parked and went inside to find the rest of the community there. The line snaked around to the door and folks were trying to figure out where to stand without breaking in line. They had just left church so everyone was being real nice.

Men were shaking hands over kids and women were talking about the upcoming church bake sale. I felt like I was from another planet trying to act like I fit in. I started to just jump in and say I was bringing a chocolate sheet cake. I figured we could be best friends by the time we got our food.

Every time I moved forward the lady behind me stepped a little closer. My three feet of personal space had been squeezed down to one foot. The woman and her daughter at the counter couldn’t decide what to order. Honestly we had been standing in line for 10 minutes but when the girl said, “What can I get you,” they were still wavering between chicken strips with French fries or onion rings. I wanted so badly to say, “Go with the fries!”

They finally decided on fruit cups. Suddenly I realized the space invader behind me was breathing on my neck. I tried to move forward, but was blocked by a very large woman holding two frozen ice cream cakes that said, “Happy Birthday Roy Dean.” I turned to the Lamaze breathing I learned 30 years ago.

All of a sudden I realized I was the only one who was fidgeting and it wasn’t speeding anything up. So I mentally rescheduled my self imposed deadline and relaxed.

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