Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ego Bruising in the Checkout Lane

As if I wasn’t feeling old enough this week. On Monday, I dropped off my “baby” for her first day of high school. It didn’t hit me how this landmark day would reflect back upon me until afterwards when I headed to the grocery store. You see, I was long overdue to make a donation to a couple of the food pantries in town and figured the first day of school was a good day to fulfill my obligation. One of the things the pantries most needed was diapers, and so I bought a lot of them. And just as I was chuckling to myself at the gossip I would start if somebody saw me checking out with all of those baby products, the cashier interrupted my humorous train of thought.

“So, do you run a day care center or something?,” she asked.

“No, actually, most of this is for a food pantry. They need diapers,” I replied.

“Oh, I was wondering if you had a day care center or if the grandkids were coming over today,” she continued.

I stopped. Speechless. Did she just say “grandkids”? Did she just tell me that I looked like a grandmother? I have friends with infants! HOW OLD DOES SHE THINK I AM???!!!

OK, I go to this grocery store a lot. I know this cashier and, not to be unkind, but she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. Yes, she is younger than me, but not by a century or anything. This was the first time that someone had mistaken me for a grandmother. Aw, hell. I may as well send in my AARP application because it’s all going downhill from here.

Look, I know there are lots of grandmothers out there and I’m friends with many of them. Heck, I look forward to being a grandma. And I’d like to think that I’ll be a fun grandma. But not yet. My kids are 19, 18 and 14 and it’s going to take a lot for me to think of them as anything but kids.

I know one thing for sure, I’m not buying my diapers at that store ever again! Just call me Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial.


At 10:24 PM , Blogger Marisa said...

First, I think AARP starts accepting applications at 35 or something ridiculous, so that means nothing.

Second, my dad couldn't wait to send in his AARP application -- now he keeps hounding me to switch car insurance plans and go to Carson's on Senior Citizen Discount Day -- which he became eligible for at 55.

And finally, you *could* be a grandma! OK, little juvenile law joke there.

Greetings from the South.

At 7:11 AM , Blogger kenju said...

Karen, I think that cashier must have been tired or something. I'll bet you don't look like a grandmother (although I have known of some who were only 36). Consider the source - and put it out of your mind!

Michele sent me.

At 9:07 AM , Blogger SB said...

I have a friend who became a grandma at 35!! (She had her daughter VERY young and as a result her daughter had a baby VERY young), and she burst into tears the 1st time someone called her grandma. Now she's a sexy saucy 50 year old with a TEENAGE grandson that most people think is her son.
The world is a crazy place!
But it does irritate me when people think I am older than my husband. He is TEN years older than me. OF COURSE, he looks younger: he has a cook, maid, helper....ME! If I had a "me", I would look well-rested, too!
and bless your heart for your donation to the food bank. That stuff really matters.

At 10:11 PM , Blogger utenzi said...

Michele sent me way up north to check out a red hot grandma!

Hi Karen. That was a hugely insensitive comment by the "dull tool" cashier. I'm sure it stung but I hope the irritation wears off soon. If you post some hot pictures here we could all try to pump up your flagging self esteem, Karen. ;-) As for denial, we all dip into those waters from time to time.

At 6:00 AM , Anonymous Paul Sveda said...

I'd let that comment roll right of your back. I've flubbed and called a Miss a Mr. and other such nonsense without thinking. Also seeing that your oldest is 19 its not immpossible that you could, in theory, be a grandparent. Michele says hello and I probably didn't make you feel a whole lot better with my comment.


Paul S

At 9:25 AM , Anonymous Chrissie said...

You old hag you!
I was born in 68 & recently was at the pool chitchating with a man born in 60. I left the pool to run to the store and while I was gone he said that one of the kids had asked if he was my daughters grandfather! Haven't had it happen to me yet, but it is right around the corner.

Here via Michele's! Have a great Weekend!

At 9:56 AM , Blogger vanx said...

My kids span the same age range. I'm not getting any younger--nor am I growing up much. I'm sure my grandkids, when it happens, will think of me as a kind of creepy cousin.

At 10:16 AM , Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That must have really made your day! (lol). But you know, there are lots of very young grandmothers out there though I realize that cashier sounds like she isn't too swift!
I'm sure you don't look like a "grandmother" Karen...just tell that cashier to get a good pair of glasses!
Here from Michele today!

At 11:47 AM , Blogger Juliabohemian said...

That's great.

I was married at 19. The first year we were together, I was in my apartment when a salesman came to the door. When he looked at me he asked me if my parents were home. I just said "nope" and shut the door.

Also, my Mom had a baby when I was 16 and used to hate it when people thought he was mine. She wasn't quite ready for the idea of it. Only 7 years later she became a grandmother. She seems to be okay with it now, though. My brother (now 13) tells me that people think he lives with his grandparents. I tell him NOT to tell my mom that because I don't think she could take it.

At 6:03 AM , Blogger verniciousknids said...

That's why we have netshopping!

Michele sent me.

At 6:56 AM , Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

A grandmother doesn't have to be all in dull clothes and a rocking chair. Be groovy!!

Michele sent me.

At 7:08 AM , Anonymous Melody said...

(Thanks for stopping by my blog today!)

How horrifying for you! That's one reason why we should be very careful to what we say to strangers!!!

At 2:29 PM , Anonymous mominprogress said...

here via Michele's :) Will be back though.

At 9:03 AM , Blogger Carmi said...

I guess she didn't graduate at the top of her cashier class. Common sense always dictates that we stay away from potentially touchy subjects when speaking with others. I guess common sense wasn't part of the training regimen.

When the time comes, you'll make a great grandma. Just like you're a great mom now. And it doesn't matter what a brain-addled store employee says!

Michele agrees with me, BTW. It's great to be home and chatting with my friends again, Karen. I've missed this over the past few days.

At 10:17 AM , Blogger David said...

hope your wrist(s) are recovering - ahem, someone with your ID is cruising by and leaving love notes.....

At 12:38 PM , Anonymous mominprogress said...

LOL here again :) too funny.

At 3:17 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Oh my, heck is right! Am here from Michele's, but I had meant to check in on you today anyway! I wouldn't worry too much about adolescent cashiers - they're a bit too self-obsessed to really properly perceive the rest of the world. I should now, since I was a cashier from 14-19... And you know, I am constantly called sir because I am tall, not because I look man-nish. At least, I hope not anyway!


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