Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It All Started Innocently With an ATM

Yesterday when I gambled with my chances of spending my afterlife in a fiery hell and went to the evil that is Walmart to replace my mascara, eyeshadow, and lipgloss; something occurred to me. I witnessed two elderly women -one in my line and the other at the check stand next to me- and their confusion using the card swipey thingy to pay for their purchases. Swipe the card. Debit or credit. Pin number. Enter. Yes or no. Sign. Accept. And each of these contraptions is slightly different in every establishment. I admit to hitting "clear" instead of "accept" on the touch screen a time or two because in one store it's on the left side of the screen, in another the right. And the checkers where more condescending than helpful when they just repeated the options in a LOUDER VOICE instead of actually, you know, helping these ladies out. I imagine myself just as confused and nervous if and when I ever hold an office job again and one of those Bizhubs are mocking my 1990's Xerox- all you want to do is make a copy?- self. This newfangled technology is intimidating. Seriously, I just learned how to text less than a year ago. I was all, "my phone does that?". Because I'm hip like that.

Then it was off to the in-store McDonalds to get Girl-Child a happy meal because I'm the type of mother that is all about NUTRITION and cheap plastic toys. One of the elderly women was in the line ahead of me with her cart full of purchases off to the side. She gestured for me to go ahead of her. I wouldn't hear of it because my very proper southern ancestors would roll over in their graves had I accepted. But she assured me she was going to visit the powder room (awwww) and it was perfectly alright. She was all the way to the restroom before I noticed she'd left her purse sitting right there in the cart. I couldn't just leave it there unattended. So I waited for her to return and it wasn't long before she came back, realizing her error. After she retrieved her purse and made her way back once again, I couldn't help but wonder how she was going to make it home. And I seriously hoped she wasn't driving one of those damn horseless carriages.

24 comments:

OHmommy said...

Awwww.... the powder room. What a sweetheart you are to wait for her. For a long time.

I love observing people. Seriously it rocks.

I value nutrition too.

On a side note: I know you answers questions but I do not know how to submit. Tell me, oh wise one. :)

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Hey! I didn't recognize you at WalMart! And thanks for watching my purse...

But I'm not elderly, I'm middle-aged. Lord knows what I'll be like in 20 years.

scargosun said...

Good karma points in your direction! I would have done the same thing too. She was proabably fine once she got out of there and into a car she knew how to work.

Melissa said...

The fact that you guarded her purse speaks so much about your character.

JoeinVegas said...

She was probably in one of those old Oldsmobiles that are longer than your SUV. And slower.

But just wait until you are presented with something like that, and your kids say 'but Mom! just press here!'

MommyTime said...

"And I seriously hoped she wasn't driving one of those damn horseless carriages." Hahhahahaha! You are one funny, and very nice, lady.

dkuroiwa said...

Older ladies in McDonald's just cracks me up....I bet she was there for the "cheap plastic toys" too....saying it was for her grandkid....*snort*...yeah right!!
But...what a sweety you were for watching her bag...of course, if it were MY grandmother she would have thought you were some sort of stalker or something...waiting for her like that!!!
"Tootsie...this is God...your latest "good deed" made it possible for your angel wings to be waiting for you so go ahead...have some fun...shake it up down there."

Greta said...

Aww. Yeah, we did a similar thing while driving. Octogenarian in the car ahead of us nearly went into a ditch. DH (at my insistence) pulled alongside her to offer help. She started screaming.

We tried.

:)

Jennifer H said...

Those card swipey thingies kick my ass.

At one of the grocery stores I go to, it makes customers wait for the total before starting. Which hitches up the whole flow of things, if you ask me.

You're a good egg, Toots. I would have guarded her purse, too.

Anonymous said...

Way back when, in the SCV, (your home valley and mine too), we could have walked away from any type of valuable to go to the rest room or whatever. Someone would be watching the stuff. We would then go out to the car and open the door hoping that the seats were cool because we had left the windows open...with the keys in the ignition switch.
About you blog of yesterday...great hair! BTW...I hope you didn't expose your cleavage here in Virginia when you visited. Could have been arrested in Virginia Beach! If a woman wears a crocheted swim suit with a flesh colored lining, she could get arrested. Crocheted suits are illegal in Virginia Beach... Lined or un-lined.
-Picokid

Optimist said...

So - what was in her bag?

; )

Karen said...

Those are the kind of people that just make my day. I love the older set in Wal-Mart. Esp. the husband/wife couples that come all dressed up like a date for McD.

At least I hope they're husband/wife. Maybe that's why they're gussied up. An affair just before the after life!

Don Mills Diva said...

Aww - bless her soul...

Erin said...

I'm an almost 25 year old mother of 3 and when I'm grocery shopping with or without kids I always try to be curteous. I've helped more than a few people with the card machines, carry out groceries (yes, with three kids), helped them get a cart and even let them cut in front of me line.

It's one of those things, they don't really expect for MY generation to be thoughtfull. I guess it isn't just me though. I would've waited for her return as well.

ALF said...

What a good person you are, Tootsie. I try to remember that I would want someone to help me and most people couldn't be bothered but it really doesn't take much extra effort not to be a huge douche.

Ann said...

You are a gem for watching her purse - good karma.

At least you weren't stuck behind them while they were writing checks. I mean, why do checks even still exist? Maybe just to make us crazy at Walmart?

JCK said...

That was a lovely thing to do Tootsie. Elderly people are special, I think. When I connect with an elder it always makes me feel connected to my beloved grandparents who are long gone now.

MadWomanMeg said...

What a special Tootsie you are. Karma's going to be bypassing the ass biting and moving straight to ass kissing when it comes to you. Good for you!

It scares me to think of how we are going to be treated when it come to our old age.

HRH said...

Awhile back before my grandmother died we were trying to get her to use email so she could receive pictures, etc. We finally gave up because she could never successfully turn the computer off. It just never sunk in that in windows you have to click on the "start" button to turn it off. Come to think of it how is it that the WHOLE world accepts such idiocy? Answer that oh wise one.

Colleen said...

how sweet you were to keep an eye on her bag! and powder room? reminds me of my grandma. *sniff*

Indy said...

We will all be these women soon enough...

Jason said...

These old women could very well have been my mother-in-law. Sometimes it's a wonder that she can even make it from point A to point B. Oh, on top of all of those old lady things you described, she is extremely hard of hearing which makes everything that much more complicated.

stephanie said...

This is not meant to be a personal attack, but I am praying that you will never have to go into that store again. Amen.

Cheri said...

I'm so old and it is so hard to teach me new tricks that I STILL keep trying to hand the cashier the card so she can run the card through the contraption and have me sign receipt on the two-part carbon paper.