Her name is Lisa O. At least that is what’s written on her name tag. She was the one listening in on a conversation I was having with someone else in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s. That woman, whose name is Susan, was going to be the one I was going to write about. She and I have a mutual friend that we both ran into while buying groceries. Susan seemed pretty hip and chic, with manicured nails and beautiful fire engine red hair. She is a hair stylist and given the cut and color, she was a professional.
Then there is Lisa O, with a baseball style t-shirt and jeans. She has this kind of grayish green blue coloring to her hair. She seems to be a more do it yourself kind of gal who rings up groceries and talks to everyone while doing it. Both women liked the idea of #KNOWvember, but Lisa O seemed like she understood it better. Maybe it’s because her day is fille with meeting people she’s never met before.
Because I only had a few minutes of Lisa O’s time, I cut to the chase and got down to getting to know her rather too quickly. It reminded me of a movie where you learn everything about a person’s life in one scene. Or what speed dating is must be like; you have a couple of minutes to get to know all you can of different strangers as you search for a prospective spouse.
As she the food I would be serving my kids a little later on, I would discover that Lisa O isn’t the only Lisa working at that particular Trader Joe’s location. There were others. I just didn’t meet or see any of them. However, I’m still unsure if it’s her last name that begins with an O or if management just got too confused with so many Lisa’s working there and instead of using numbers (Lisa 1, Lisa 2, etc.) they gave them letters (Lisa A, Lisa B, etc.).
As I bagged my groceries, I did, however, learn she is a singer in a couple of different bands. One being an all girl Black Sabbath cover band called Black Sabbatha. By the way, Lisa O didn’t think it was funny when I told her the name could have been “White Shabbat” (I’m laughing just writing that out and knowing only a few fellow theologians and my Jewish friends will understand why).
As I was waiting for my card to finish paying my bill, Lisa O told me she likes to perform and take on different personalities. This made me wonder if her name is really Lisa or O or something completely different, like Judy C or simply Carol. As we concluded our conversation transaction, she said, “If you can’t be Ozzie then you might as well be yourself.”
As I began to put the groceries away in the cupboards I began to wonder if all the other people I met were telling me the truth. Or was it just a persona of themselves that they wanted to be. Does it really matter? Meeting people where they are is often more important and way more interesting than meeting someone because of who they are.
I think Lisa O would agree...that is, if that’s her real name.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”