Tuesday, April 27, 2010

These Are The Days Of Our Lives

We met Mary, Paul and Joy at the Encinitas Street Fair on Sunday, and joined them for brunch at Honey's Bistro first. That place is awesome. There was a long line for the bathroom when we were leaving Honey's, but I didn't feel like peeing in a Porta-Potty later on, so I waited. It was not an unpleasant wait; Honey's is warm and bustling and smells like fresh-baked muffins. I admired my new straw hat in the glass bakery case. Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable warped yelp that is the first note of Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen." I smiled. Without really thinking about it (because it's what I do) I started wagging my head and shimmying my hips a bit.

There was a guy in front of me, who had smiled in a friendly sort of way when I joined the line. "It seems to be moving pretty fast," he said. I smiled back but didn't say anything, since this was one of those pointless things people say that actually have no meaning whatsoever. I couldn't tell how old he was. He had a few days of scruffy beard. Now he smiled again when he saw me recognizing the song.

"Look at that. You and I did the exact same thing when this song came on."

I smiled again and didn't respond, since I couldn't corroborate his claim, having not been looking at him.

"It's a good song," he tried again.

I smiled and looked away. I have my own sweet little history with the song, but I wasn't about to start telling him about it. "It's a good song," I said finally. "I remember listening to it when I was nineteen myself."

He laughed. "Me, too! Let me guess--you're in your late '40s."

I was stung but didn't pause. "No, I'm not." Good lord, I thought. That's his immediate guess? What the hell? When did this happen? I'm looking so fresh today! Lots of sleep! Youthful outfit! Hat covering those couple of sproingy grays! Sheesh!

He was instantly chagrined, probably more from my stupid, stupid face than the three words I actually said. Because I'm sure my face said Oh. My. God. Did you just say that? He charged in hastily to repair the damage, swinging his rhetoric like a sword.

"Not that you look like you're in your late '40s. Far from it! I shouldn't have said that. What I meant was, that's how old you'd be if the song had come out when you were 19. But that's not what you meant. You had been hearing the song for YEARS already. I was totally just thinking of dates. Not of how you look. FAR FROM IT. In fact, I can tell by looking at you that you're in your early '30s, right? Am I right?"

Now I felt even worse. I had this thudding sensation in the pit of my stomach. Oh, he thinks that the truth hurts, and he's trying to fix it so he can keep talking to me. He wants me to be all appeased and mollified and flattered now, and mysteriously forget what happened in my girlish delight over his ridiculous suggestion that I'm in my early '30s. As if it were that easy.

"A lady never tells," I said.

"No, of course not! Of course she doesn't! I was just really stupid there."

The door to the bathroom opened and a lady walked out. I didn't respond to Time Machine Man. I just lifted my chin and used it to indicate that the bathroom was now available. He walked in without another word.

Of course I was still standing there when he emerged 30 seconds later, and I'd been practicing a smarter face. I smiled winningly, willing my crow's feet to look soft and charming rather than withered and papery. "Have a great day!" I trilled.

"You, too," he said. Poor guy. He really stepped in that one.

7 comments:

Logical Libby said...

You should have kicked him in his Steely Dan.

I had a guy ask me if Meg was my granddaughter. I still wish I had kicked him.

And no, you do not look like you are in your 40's.

Sam said...

Why, thank you, Libby. You are nobody's grandma. And the guy who asked if Meg was your granddaughter is actually hilarious. Reminds me of the time a teenage boy behind me in line at a deli pointed to Jarrah in my arms and said "Your daughter? You guys look EXACTLY alike!" I was like, "Uhhhh...thanks!"

Aunt LoLo said...

I think I can top LL - when I was 14, a random Grandpa in a restaurant asked if my little sister (who was 4) was my daughter. Heh.

Caroline said...

I have the same kind of story as Aunt LoLo. When I was fourteen, someone asked me if my little sister (who was ten) was my daughter. Now that would be somethin' wouldn't it?

That guy was hilarious, but at least he had the self consciousness to try to realize what he'd said and try to placate you.

You do NOT look like you're in your late forties. Please! I could easily believe thirties. And men talk to you. They just look right through me.

I love that song. One of my favorites by Steely Dan. I had to go listen.

~Caroline

Caroline said...

To realize, not try to realize. I always need an edit button.

The Wades said...

I can't believe you were quiet after his first two comments. I would have thunk you more a chit chatter. Maybe just not to this clown?

Late forties? No way!

Mary said...

You don't look anywhere near that! Your story reminds me of when someone thought I was Joy's grandma. UGH.

oxoxo

Mary