Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Generation Rap

Perhaps you think Mrs. HM is sometimes too harsh on Millennials, pointing out their peccadilloes such as self-centeredness, inability to squeeze out a single drop of the milk of human kindness, and heavy reliance on electronic assistance in telling time, making change, or interacting with people.

Perhaps the following vignettes from Sunday's travels will help you understand my maligning.

I headed to town Sunday for some last-minute gifts. Not really gifts, because I thought my Christmas shopping was all done. These were prizes for the games to be played at the annual Christmas Eve dinner at the home of my sister the ex-mayor's wife. She called me Saturday afternoon to discuss this matter. I am not one to refuse, or to rain on Sis's Christmas Eve parade. She goes to a lot of time and trouble and expense to make assorted buffet foods and desserts. It's the least I can do to provide prizes for her games.

Needing twelve small prizes (about $1 each), and two large ones (around the $10 level), I planned on  hitting several area Dollar Stores, the Dollar Tree, and the Big Lots out by my bank. It was in the newest Dollar Store, over by the Chinese Buffet that got shut down because the owner was importing illegal non-citizens, that I was the beneficiary of a selfless act by a woman of my generation.

Okay. I thought of her as a nice old lady, but she was in reality probably my age, or a couple years younger. Her good deed could not have come at a better time. It was after 1:00, and I was feeling kind of weak, having not eaten anything yet, and having roamed around the store for about 15 minutes without a cart. You know how Mrs. HM needs her cart/walker to lean on if standing will be involved.

Anyhoo...I hobbled to the register, feeling a bit lightheaded and unstable. I had a yellow Dollar Store basket on my arm, containing a jar of dry-roasted nuts, a box of three individual bags of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip cookies, and a plastic battery operated thingy that sends colored lights around the room like a table-anchored disco ball. Yeah. Sorry you're not going to be at Sis's house on Christmas Eve, in the running for one of those prizes.

Anyhoo...there were five people in line, and that nice old lady with a cart full of household items was ahead of me down the narrow front aisle. She parked her cart in line, and I waited off to the side, because I couldn't go around the last display and line up proper, due to a woman with a cart and a toddler picking up things the toddler had knocked off.

"Honey, you can go ahead of me. You have so few things."

"Oh, you don't have to. THANK YOU! That is so nice of you!"

"I have this whole cart. Merry Christmas to you and your family."

"And to you, too!"

I got in line. I'd have chatted, but like I said, I was feeling kind of shaky and lightheaded, like that time I was pregnant with Little Future Genius, and returned to work after a 3-hour blood glucose test, barely able to think about how I was going to pump gas into not-T-Hoe, and found out later my glucose at the time I left the lab was in the 40s!

Anyhoo...that nice old lady didn't have to let me go ahead of her. She didn't know I was nearing a coma. She gave up her place in line to allow me to move ahead. That's what our generation does.

From there, I cracked open a Slim Jim in T-Hoe (chewing gingerly, of course) and drove across town to Big Lots. For good measure, I popped the cinnamon candy I found in my jacket pocket into my mouth, and felt better. But I took a cart this time. Just in case.

Of course both registers had shoppers lined up three deep. I moved to the last one, with only a man and woman (together) ahead of me. Wouldn't you know it? That guy wanted to update his Big Lots card. Oh, but the email and address were now different! So after asking him if each one was current, the checker said, "Well, your NAME is still such-and-such, isn't it?" He agreed that it was, but Checker said it would be easier just to void that old card, and issue a new one. Of course he had to sign in or do something about a password to get his $5 off that he was due. After trying for several minutes, he replied that his phone didn't have internet.

Meanwhile, a new checker had come to the third register, but didn't turn on her in-business light. She was doing something on the monitor when a dude barged over and asked her to check the price on some kind of duck toy in a box. As she was doing that, two early-20s gals, who'd been in line behind me, rushed over to that register, shoving their stuff on the counter to be rung up.

Huh. New Checker performed their transaction! And all of us in both lines ahead of them, still waiting like societal norms decree! Obviously, the time of these Twenty-Somethings was more valuable than the time of us oldsters, at least in their own Twenty-Something minds. Even though we actually have less time left!

At least New Checker motioned to me after they were gone. "I can help you over here, Honey."

Yes. She was a seasoned veteran.


fishducky said...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you, Farmer H & the boys!!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Thank you! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and Bud and Nameless and Matt and Blake and their families, and a Happy New Year as well!

River said...

The life of a checker isn't easy, you barely get time to sign in on the screen, (that's what she would have been doing) before everyone rushes up from the back of the store trying to be first in line. Here in Australia, we have cardboard Closed signs that sit on the far end of the conveyor belt and we don't take them off until we have signed in and checked the till for change. Then we call people over and it's always the ones at the end of the other lines that come on over, which seems fair because around this time of year our lines can number up to twenty people at a time, all with full carts. Definitely NOT the time to sign in and start scanning THEN find your till doesn't have any money. I'm guessing the older woman did see you were in a near coma state, us oldies can often tell, it's like the sudden whitening of a face just before someone drops to the floor in a faint. Here's a tip from me: do NOT leave the house without eating at least one thing. Even a peanut butter sandwich and drink of water. Have them in the car while driving if you are in a hurry, but don't get rushing around on an empty stomach.

Hillbilly Mom said...

A lot of stores have those little CLOSED markers, but not Big Lots. The New Checker had her back to the waiters. You could clearly see that her screen was not logged on, that she was in the process of doing something to it. The light was off, and the register did NOT look like she was open. The duck box man rushed up and she had to turn around when he demanded to know the price.

I'm pretty sure that old woman could sense that I was circling the drain. She was so kind. I normally have a Slim Jim on the way to town, but I'd been in and out of T-Hoe, and forgot. The cinnamon candy did the trick, but now my mouth feels blistered. I think I indulged in too many of them on the way to and from CasinoPalooza 3.