There comes a point in everyone’s life, when you realize you’re old. Oh, I admit it….I ignored the signs at first, like when I went to volunteer and the cute college girls referred to another mom my age who was volunteering as, “that lady”. When you go bra shopping, and you come home with one that says, “NEW! Age Defying Lift!” and it costs more than your first rent payment out of college, the writing’s on the wall ladies. Young women….do not have to wager their financial future to keep the twins where they should be!
Despite these obvious signs though, my world didn’t crumble down til a routine trip to the grocery store. Standing in the deli line, minding my own biz, debating in my head “Swiss or provolone? Swiss or provolone? Swiss AND provolone?” my thoughts were interrupted by a voice from behind the counter.
“Swiss AND provolone? Swiss AND pro….”
“MA’AM? CAN I HELP YOU?”
Startled out of my delicious cheese fantasy, I turn to my left, then to my right. No one.
I look behind me. No one.
Wait a second.
Is he talking to ME?
“Are you talking to MEEEEE?” I squeak?
“Yes ma’am, what can I do for you today?”
Well, you can start by not calling me ma’am you 16 year old pimply faced, spindley arm jackass! Apparently customer service is a dying institution!! Where’s the RESPECT? Where’s Aretha when I need her? I need her presidential inauguration hat, stat. I need the hat, STAT. I’m going to beat deli boy with Aretha’s hat WHILE I play R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, it’s a plan! I’m so doing it! He’s SO getting schooled on respect!
Despondent, I order five pounds of Provolone, Swiss (and American thrown in for good measure) from uncouth- rude- boy and skulk over to the adult beverage aisle.
“Who’s he calling ma’am” I spit under my breath. “I’ll show him ma’am. I’m not shuffling around here with grey hair and wire rim glasses. Ma’am. He won’t be calling me ma’am when I beat him upside the head with Aretha’s ginormous bad ass hat!”
I grab up my booze and go. I’ve got my cheese, I’ve got my wine, I’ve got my beer. The rest of the grocery list be damned. The family’s living off the land this week. And cheese. No one will have a bowel movement (sorry, tmi, but just sayin’), but too damn bad. They’re gonna have to deal with it. I am NOT patronizing this low brow establishment any further!
I schlep to the checkout, sulking like an octogenarian who just spent her last quarter on the slots and came up empty on the big bus trip to Mohegan Sun.
I dump my bounty on the belt and realize, score! The cashier’s a matronly woman of about fitty five! She’ll see me for the youthful, vibrant stylin’ mommy I know I am!
We exchange pleasantries, and I get out my wallet, poised to procure my ID.
She scans my cheese and booze.
“That will be $48.27.”
“And…we take cash, check or charge?”
“Well……. don’t you need to see my ID?”
“Um, well, we only need to card people who look under 30.”
Beatch! She might as well have punched me in the gut!
I’m not that much over 30, am I? I stop and do the math.
OH God, I’m in my MID THIRTIES. I know I knew this, but for some reason I still feel like I’m 27. But that’s just madness, because when I really was 27, I was barely married, had no kids, a career, WAY better clothes, and ahem, weighed **many** pounds less. 27? That wasn’t a few years…that was….. a LIFETIME ago.
All of a sudden, I feel all kinds of crazy. (Hi, I’ll take some cheese and booze with a side of crazy, please…)
It’s not THEM. It’s ME.
I am old!
“I can card you if you want me to?” the cashier offers.
The condescending *&^%#!!!! She’s totally patronizing me!!! You can’t offer to card someone AFTER you already didn’t. I already KNOW you think I’m OLD. You can’t take it back—the implied insult is out there!
Oh, it’s on! I’m so coming back to beat both of them with the hat!