The more I write about growing old the less I care about it and the more fun I am having. It’s as though every thought and action I dismissed as being too childish is bashing the gates of adult behaviour.
Today I took my daughter to Wendy’s for lunch, my treat. I stepped up to the cash register where a super tall human who looked like a girl stood waiting to take my order. The purple hair, nose stud and graffitied arm , I thought , were impressive. I admired her courage at applying for the job . It takes a great deal of confidence to believe that someone would hire you looking like that. The nose stud alone would be enough in most jobs to be a deterrent to allowing her to handle food. It was a pearl ,I think, that she had there. I suppose if it fell out in a burger one could argue that it fell out of an oyster . Though I doubt oysters are a Wendy’s specialty.
I started to give my order but I couldn’t see my favorite salad listed anywhere on the menu posted just behind her. In fact there were no salads there at all. I asked if they had any and she said yes they were posted on the wall to my right and off to the side. The poster was out of my view but with a ninety degree backward bend to my spine and another ninety degree twist in my neck I could just see the pictures of the salads. Read them , I could not. Fortunately my daughter, Erica, was behind me where she could see the sign. She knew what I liked and named it for me. The cashier heard what she had said . But I didn’t know that at the time. So I repeated the order. While I was saying Mandarin salad she was speaking. I could see her lips move but my own voice drowned her out. We both stopped , waiting for the other to speak. And wouldn’t you know it? We simultaneously spoke again. This happened twice ; two of us starting and stopping together. I was becoming confused so I stopped quickly . Slowly and with exaggerated articulation , she boomed, “WHAT —- KIND— OF — SO- F- T DR—INK — would—- you— li -ke?” She thought I was hard of hearing.
I started to giggle. “A DI ET PEP SI PLEASE. I am not DEAF. ”
At this point I was in stitches. But I tried to contain myself.
I had my interact card in hand. The tatoo reached for it but changed its mind. Instead I heard her voice speak at a normal volume and speed. “Please swipe.”
And for the life of me I don’t know what childish impulse came over me but the words from a children’s cartoon popped out of my mouth, “Swiper, no swiping.”
Behind me my eight months pregnant daughter bent over in hysterics- no mean feat for her in her condition. The cashier chuckled and didn’t lose a beat. ” Ok , Dora. Good swiping.”
I picked up my order and toddled off to my table. If I’d been at MacDonald’s they would have given me a toy. Do they have any for the over 60’s children?