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Someday, I hope to be a grandmother. Even better—a great-grandmother.

I’ll be lavish with love and cookies. I’ll be ready to play, deaf to creaky joints. I may even get a grandma hairdo—a puffy swan-white perch for a daisy infested plastic rainbonnet. My purse will contain a paper bag stuffed with Hammond’s hard candies and perhaps an emergency Depends.

I hope to embrace aging with grace, humor, and every cliche in the known universe. Doesn’t everyone love the granny bearing fruit salad and non sequiturs? Then, she sky dives.

I want to make it clear I respect my elders and look forward to meeting my children’s children someday.

But I don’t want to be there yet.

Today, as I bought two logs of sugar cookie dough and a jumbo vat of vanilla whipped frosting for a school project, the clerk helpfully pushed the cart through the checkout lane to me, where I waited on the other end. Beatrix smiled and bounced in the cart’s seat.

The clerk cooed, “Here, honey, do you want your grandma? Mom? Grandma-mom?”

The clerk looked up at me, overplucked eyebrows raised in panting expectation.

Not able to look the clerk in the eye, I said to Beatrix, “Come see mama!” as I pulled the cart through, grabbed the grocery sack, and headed for the exit.

“Ma’am! Ma’am!”

I heard the clerk’s voice behind me, so I turned to see what she wanted.

“Ma’am? You haven’t paid.”

Maybe she had a point.

14 comments to Crone

  • When our first child was born, the nurse asked my husband if he was the grandfather. It was a proud moment for him.

  • I think you should get free groceries for that mistake!! 🙂 I once, at age 16, had someone ask if my 10 year old brother was my son. And my brother was, oh, probably my height at the time (he was and still is a giant). People are just often dumb.

    I bet you look quite youthful! Honestly, I can’t remember you ever posting a picture of yourself…

  • Tracy (tjly)

    How wonderful that your local grocer hires the disabled!

  • edj

    I can relate though. I took a friend of mine shopping in Mauritania once. She’s about 15 years younger than I am, but Mauritanian women often look older than they are, thanks, I think, to the Saharan sun.
    The shopkeeper asked if she was my daughter.
    I’m still depressed.

  • Oh man, that’s painful. Cracking up at Tracy’s comment though!

  • Mopsy, I can’t imagine anyone mistaking you for anything but the mom-you are much too youthful looking.

    Back when I was a “young” 37, I was helping out in Hilary’s class. She was 7 & the youngest of 5. One of her classmates asked if I was her grandmother. It didn’t bother me, but Hilary cried her eyes out. I decided I needed to quit wearing jeans and sweatshirts with clever granny sayings.

    Out came the hair color, I ditched my faithful sneakers, added more structured clothing. It did make me feel/look younger.

    It is a funny post!

  • Jenn

    Oh my goodness!!

    When my Mom was really sick in the hospital before she died, the ER Dr. asked me if she was my daughter. LOL! I was speechless until I saw that smirk on my Mom’s face. I’ll never forget it! We had a good laugh about that one!

    I think the clerk at your grocery store should have just let you keep walking, afterall – her foot should have been shoved into her mouth up to her knee! I have no idea where she could have gotten that from – you look SO young and not at all grandmotherly. Sheesh!

  • Um, really? Because I’ve seen your picture and you don’t look like a grandma. (I wouldn’t have made that last statement if you did – I would just have said something like, “Oh! That sucks!”

    p.s. my husband totally said the “butts coconuts” thing in elementary school. I knew he would know that phrase.

    Please write a post about how you chose your childrens’ names.

  • Shayne

    LOL, Tracy! The clerk at least needs glasses, that’s for sure! Once when I was about 12, my grandmother was in the hospital. It happened to be the hospital where my mom worked. It also happened to be summertime. So I’d go to work with my mom, spend my days in my grandma’s hospital room, then my mom would come for lunch and then to take me home at the end of the day.

    One day after my mom left after lunch (wearing her labcoat — so CLEARLY she was an adult, though she is only 5′ tall and weighs about as much as one of my legs), one of the nurses asked me if she was my little sister. I was dumbfounded.

  • JoAnn

    That’s plum crazy! You a grandma? What?

    How old was she?


  • perhaps your checker was only 12.

    i was dressed just like that for our halloween costume party this year and thinking, “i won’t need this costume for long.”

    chickadee’s last blog post..Cutting back on the feed bill one pet at a time

  • I was with a friend recently, and the checker both offered her the senior’s discount, and then refused to give it to her when she looked nonplussed.
    Now, THAT is not fair. I’m certain that if you are OFFERED the discount, you should GET it to ease the sting. Perhaps twice the usual discount.

  • I can’t imagine that you look old enough to be Beatrix’s grandmother! How awful. Silly little checker.

    Goslyn’s last blog post..Friday Finds: Desperation Entertaining

  • Having metcha, which required spotting you from across a crowded restaurant, I can testify that you don’t look cronish. Or Grandmaish. In fact, my first thought when I saw you (and this probably reveals more about me than you) was, “Oh dear, she looks cooler than I thought she would!” (Not that I didn’t think you’d be cool, I just didn’t think you’d be quite so stylish, much hipper than me.)

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