This month is a special month for me, in terms of age. I honestly get tired of hearing, “It’s just a number.” It is not just a number, if I want it to bother me some; I will let it bother me (some).
No parties, no presents and I think perhaps, it would be nice to spend it on a train.
The AARP decided to throw gas on my birthday cake by sending me an invitation and my first card to carry around in my wallet. I wanted to fire off a letter to them explaining that I wasn’t interested in any discounts, magazines or help with deciding who to vote for in the upcoming elections.
If I want a discount, I’ll get one. If they won’t give me one, I’ll move on to the next hotel, car rental company or restaurant. Age discrimination works both ways. Why not give discounts to twenty-something’s with small children? While you are at it, you should give discounts to folks that travel with dogs – not charge them extra.
I will stick with my AAA card, buy magazines from the elementary school children and as for voting, I can figure that out.
It was starting out to be a difficult weekend. Needing a break, I volunteered to go to the grocery store. Honestly, the grocery store is a briar patch type place for me. A briar patch type place, as in the story of Brer Rabbit. Can’t you hear me?
"Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please." "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the grocery store."
This time it almost backfired.
Enjoying myself with my normal escapades, I was having a good time on this Saturday morning.
After obsessively cleaning the whole grocery cart with one of those antibacterial wet wipes the grocery store provides, the produce section is always the best place to start. You are there to develop a relationship with a fruit or vegetable.
For instance, try an onion. Hold it up to the light, then to your ear, then hold two onions, one in each palm while stretching your arms straight out on each side forming the letter “T” with your soon to be AARP body.
Always make sure someone is watching, preferably a college aged girl who probably hasn’t gone to the grocery store much.
When you are sure she can hear you, pull both arms in and look closely at the onions again. Put one in a bag and then into your cart, then before putting the unlucky onion back, hold it up in front of your face and say, “I’m so sorry, you were not chosen.” Three out of ten young women will pick up the onion you put back and take it home with them, even if they didn’t need an onion.
Bell peppers, tomatoes and apples have a better chance of being picked up, but on this day I really needed an onion. Don’t try this with watermelons!
While walking around the grocery store, I often wonder why folks (men in particular) go to singles bars, use online matchmaking services or go on singles cruises. They should just go to the grocery store, grab a cart and look helpless. Please note that doing the “onion thing” makes you look stupid, not helpless.
It is apparent to me; the grocery store has folks shopping for more than just groceries. I’m ok with that.
After entertaining as many folks as I could and getting what I needed, I decided it was time to go. Saturday at the grocery store in Williamsburg, Virginia can be kind of hectic, if you go at the wrong time of day. On this Saturday morning, the grocery store was filled with a lot of (us) older folks.
In Williamsburg, there are a considerable number of what the locals call “come here’s.” Folks from New York and New Jersey like to retire here, to what they think is the South.
I’m a “come here” from Alabama and I can tell you that it is a very nice place, but it is not The South.
There were a lot of folks in line waiting to check out. It was frustrating, but I wasn’t in a hurry and wasn’t missing any meaningful college football games. Standing there in line, I was daydreaming, thinking of ways to cut the lines down some. I considered announcing there was a free wine and cheese tasting in the back of the store, but the manager got a little miffed the last time I did that.
Lost in the moment, the line moved up the length of one grocery cart and I just stood there. Before I could move up, this nice lady with about 30 years more AARP experience than I, slipped in front of me. My mouth fell open and I’m pretty sure I said, “Well, I’ll be doggone.” The lady wouldn’t look at me; she pretended to be in a trance. She was looking up and around.
I wanted to screech out in my best Barney Fife, Mayberry Deputy voice, “Line-breaker,” but I held it back.
It did make me think about the AARP card. Maybe it entitles you to break line anywhere you want.
One of the managers opened up another line and let me go first. I figured he either saw what happened to me or didn’t want to risk the wine and cheese announcement.
I was happy.
As I was walking out of the store, the line-breaking, probably from New Jersey lady was still waiting in her line. I couldn’t help it, I had to do it. I did the “line-breakers never win” dance with my cart and clicked my heels in the air.
One of these days, I’m going to break something (a leg or ankle).
With the time falling back an hour, there were no excuses for not making it to church on time the next Sunday morning. I did, the pastor preached a bang up sermon and we came home.
My daughter and some friends had been making s‘mores outside over a fire pit the previous weekend. Evidently, they left the graham crackers, Hershey bars and marshmallows within reach of Doolittle, my 92.5 pound Standard poodle.
Doolittle and Maddie (miniature poodle) had drug the graham crackers, the chocolate and all the makings into the den in front of the fireplace. The previously unopened box of graham crackers was devoured and two of the Hershey bars had been consumed. The marshmallows and peanut butter have not been found.
They decided to have some sort of party in front of the fireplace while we were at church.
Doolittle tried to hide as soon as we came in the door. It is hard for a 92.5 (plus a little more) pound poodle to hide.
What do you say?
I say, “Thank God they didn’t start a fire.”
If you didn’t know it, graham crackers were invented in New Jersey by a Presbyterian minister named Sylvester Graham.
PLEASE NOTE: I know about chocolate and dogs, mine have lived through worse. I know people a lot of nice folks from New Jersey.
Read more stories at www.CranksMyTractor.com.