Thursday, August 26, 2010
I shouldn't need a husband to buy beer
I just needed strawberries.
So I stopped at Hy-Vee, on my way to get my little all-grown-up-all-of-a-sudden boy from school.
I went in, skipped the shopping cart and found the strawberries (for Paige and Rye). I also decided to get fruit snacks (a treat for Rye) and Corona Light (a treat for me).
My hands full, I went to the cashier with the shortest line. I was happy she was older, so we wouldn't have to bother with a manager coming over to scan my beer and take my money.
The woman in front of me was paying when I came up and set my items on the conveyor belt. She had a daughter about Paige's age in the cart who I suppose was cute. But she wasn't as cute as my kid, and the cashier was ALL OVER HER.
Even after the woman had paid and was on her way, the cashier who I was waiting patiently for wanted to know the little girl's name.
Come on, I was thinking. I have three things. Just let me pay for them. I don't even need a bag. I checked the time on my cell phone. 17 minutes until school was out.
Finally, the cashier pulled herself away, saying, "She's a CUTIE!"
I sort of nodded.
Ring me up, I pleaded silently.
I pulled out my credit card, ready to swipe it through the machine when she read my total.
The cashier rang up the strawberries and the fruit snacks and paused when she got to the Corona. She leaned over the counter in between us and looked at my left hand.
Then she looked at me.
"I'm going to card you. Do you have your ID?"
Yes, I did, of course.
"I'm 30 years old," I said, and handed her my license.
She scanned the beer and gave me back my license. I slid my credit card and put it away.
I was in a hurry to go. The cashier held onto my beer.
"Do you need one of these?" she asked. She was holding Hy-Vee's Wedding Essentials magazine.
Are you kidding me? I thought. Uh, no, I don't need your magazine filled with overpriced bridal gowns, flowers that only die and rings that cost way too much. I'm completely over centerpieces and tuxes and glasses etched with the couple's name, too. And if you had any clue what the last year of my life has been like, lady, I sure hope you wouldn't be flashing that magazine in my face.
"Nope, I sure don't," I said. "I just got divorced."
Now, give me my groceries and let me leave, I wanted to add.
She smiled sadly at me, judging me, it seemed, and finally let me go.
Tip number one, Hy-Vee cashiers: A ring on my left finger doesn't prove I'm old enough to buy beer. If you're going to card a customer, please base that decision on her face, not her marital status.
Number two: Please, please don't assume a ringless finger means a woman wants to think about marriage. Trust me: Brides will find your magazine if they want it.
Just scan my groceries, and take my money.
That's all I need you to do.
There are plenty of others in this world to make me feel bad about things. I don't need you added to that list.