I smiled at the checkout lady when it was finally my turn. Not her fault I was grumpy. I just wanted to be finished and go home.
But she took my smile as an invitation. “All this bread!” she exclaimed. “Just for one week?
I groaned inwardly. In a split second, I debated explaining that I freeze my bread, and that no, it wasn’t all for one week.
Then my pissy mood took over. I wasn’t here to be judged. I wanted to say “Just ring my purchases through, lady! I can buy 20 loaves of bread if I want to and you should smile and take my money!”
Instead, I told a half truth. “Ha ha. I’ve got two boys.”
That usually makes checkout ladies smile and nod knowingly. Everybody knows boys eat you out of house and home. No further explanation is needed.
Not for this checkout lady, though. “Oh?” she said. “How old are they?”
Well, geez. No way I was gonna tell her that one of my boys was really my husband. How stupid would that look?
So, I lied.
“Errr, one’s nine and the other’s a teenager.” Teenagers eat a lot. Maybe she’d get the hint, finish my groceries and let me go home.
“Oh, what school do they go to?”
Arrrrgh! I told her the local high school. And then she asked if I got them to cook for themselves, whether they had a job, whether their friends came over and ate all the food, if I had brothers and all about how she had 2 brothers and a sister.
When I finally got out of there, I wondered to myself whether the truth would have kept her silent.
Maybe next time I’ll just keep my grumpy face on and not smile.