We needed to buy some wine glasses. Some had bitten the dust before we arrived. And we had added to the glassware carnage ourselves. Glassware and a few other items on our shopping list, off we went to the mall.
First stop was Sears. I immediately was distracted by the display of housewares as soon as we entered the store. My husband, who shops like a guided missile, was hot in pursuit of glassware.
As I browsed, I heard a loud, happy laugh from behind me: an older, large gentleman, apparently of native Hawaiian heritage and wearing a security uniform with a badge. was laughing as he attempted to maneuver his shopping cart out of the shopping cart corral. As he did so he exclaimed he was a new driver.
His comment struck a chord and I laughed too. My 93 year old Aunt says the same thing when she goes shopping. She has never learned to drive so motorized shopping carts for the handicapped are the closest she comes to driving. And she always calls out a warning, as this older gentleman just had, of "new driver". I said as much to him. I had no idea what I had started, or perhaps the better analysis would be what trap I had fallen into.
The security guard, if that is what he actually was, immediately rushed to my side and began to tell me about his unique blend of religions, "haolies", and the need for Hawaii's secession, by violence if necessary, from the United States.
My husband heard the commotion and returned to see the man towering over me and preaching. At which point, "Uncle", as he requested we address him, asked my husband how long we had been married. Uncle then explained he would be happy to hold an ancient Hawaiian ceremony renewing our wedding vows. Our ancestors as well as the the Lord Jesus would be in attendance. Goose bumps raised on my skin.
You see, Uncle had a mesmerizing voice and elegant and towering presence. He also had hold of my hand. As Uncle took my hand, he pointed out my pale skin, noting that I, like the early European settlers to the islands, am very pale. Such pale-skinned people were thought to be without breath. Hence, Uncle explained, "hoalie" is a derogatory term to describe us pale-skinned, no-breath,visitors.
Somehow I suspect that Europeans who were at sea for weeks or months were not as pale as I am who never goes into the sun without completely covering myself with sunblock. But that's beside the point of the story.
Actually, I'm not sure what the point of the story is. We did eventually find and buy more wine glasses and the other things we had come looking for. But not before I entered Uncle's phone number in my iPhone, as he instructed. So we could schedule that marriage renewal in the ancient Hawaiian tradition the next time we come to Maui. Who knows, maybe my ancestors will show up. I wouldn't mind seeing them.