Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Someone Needs to Sit Down and Have a Talk With Her About Boundaries

I've already mentioned how much Girl-Child enjoys our trips to the bank. It does not rival her SKQUEEEEEE!! of the grocery store. Free cookie from the bakery aside, at the grocery store there are two cashiers; one called "Friend" and the other is "Tong". These are not their real names, however, it is how Girl-Child addresses them. Friend will spend our whole transaction conversing with Girl-Child; asking her if she'd gone to school that morning, how it was, what did they do, what did they have for snack, and ask the names of whichever doll or stuffed toy has joined us. Sometimes, if she has them, Friend will give Girl-Child a sticker. The two just click. She is not the only checker to ever speak with Girl-Child but she is the one whose line we will wait in at Girl-Child's request, no matter how long, so that she can see her Friend. That is... (dramatic pause indicated by ellipses)...

....Unless Tong is there. Tong is the love of her life. She doesn't care that he's in his twenties and that her love is forbidden. Because her kind of love is wrapped up in the funny voices he uses to speak to her, how he chases her, steals her toys and gives them voices, plays hide and seek, tickles her, and generally acts a damn fool. When she squeals from behind her hands, "Tong is SO silly!" she's basically telling him, "Look dude, you're awesome, okay? Please come over and play My Little Ponies with me. BFFs?". She recognizes his car in the parking lot and is ready for the check out lane before our shopping has even begun. "Can we go see Tong now?" "Not yet." "Done Mommy?". "Nope". And God help us if he's running the 15 items or less lane and we're there on BIG shopping day. Holy hell.

She is not the only child who feels this way about Tong. His line is full of mothers with small children. When another check stand opens to relieve the congestion, we mothers are falling all over our manners and turn into a bunch of Emily Posts with our "Oh no, after you". "No. Please, go right ahead". "You were here first, I wouldn't dream of it". Because none of us are leaving that line. And we all know it. And the person who does eventually move to the next available checker is one that is sans child. If he's relieved for his break before we've all been through the line, he will make sure to greet each child individually and knows each one by name. I'm not even kidding when I say that every day is like Christmas and he's Santa Claus. Only younger. And shorter. And looks more like Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers with less surf punk and more Howdy Doody. I wonder if Tong babysits?

******************************

Scenes From the Mall:

(1) Woman in spandex bottoms and too small top with spillage in the middle. Resembles broken can of biscuits.
(4) Individual toddler meltdowns.
(1) Sale on bathing suits at Macys. And a line full of very brave women.
(3) Random acts of chivalry. Men still occasionally hold doors open for women and let them go first in line. Thanks, Gents. Your Mamma done brought you up right.
(2) Bonafide mowhawks. Not faux-hawks. I repeat: not faux-hawks.
(1) Mowhawk riding the carousel. Well done, sir.
(8) Separate sightings of small children riding on fathers' shoulders. EIGHT. Walking is for chumps.
(Infinity) Teenagers. That used to be me only with bigger hair and more eyeliner.

39 comments:

Karen said...

I hate to think that Tong is making nice with the kids to score with the mamas.

Inzaburbs said...

We don't have a regular. But... actually People Who Are Good With Kids at Checkouts embarrass me. I feel like I don't know the rules. How long can you linger? Is it rude to drag your child away? Should you be laughing and exchanging banter too or just standing there like a chump with a goofy smile on your face?
It's a minefield.
Maybe Tootsie Farklepants could advise.

Sue said...

I have yet to find a grocery store checker who speaks to anyone in more than grunts. I need a new store!

Madame Queen said...

Tong sounds exactly like one of my first loves -- Houston. Sigh. I was so in love with him. But when he asked me to dance at an all night dance a thon my mom was chaperoning for my older brother, I nearly died of embarrassment (two r's?) and said no and then spent the rest of the night kicking myself for being such a chickenshit!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

Tong is just like our Mr Gary - a former marine who adores my kiddo. We know his schedule so well, we know not to bother going to the store on Wed...his day off.

And, I'm with you: what is up with the new round of mohawks?? ALL over the place. Yay for chivalry. My son is already being taught ladies first.

Cheri said...

Tong *hearts* Tootsie. I can tell.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

WTH? You have cashiers that speak? And not just amongst themselves? Seriously, WTH? I can't even get a cashier to make eye contact and you've got two that entertain your kid. I need to move to SoCal.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I, too, am astounded at the plethora of entertaining and friendly grocery store cashiers in California. You are truly living in an earthly paradise - I am convinced of that now.

The Girl Next Door said...

Ah yes, we miss our friend Socrates who messed with the kids and abused momma for coming to the store every. single. day. he was so funny - he'd always say, "See you tomorrow" (and he did - I am so unorganized).

And the muffin top look is a broken can of biscuits? Made me laugh out loud at work - you're going to get me into trouble!!

Caution said...

Love the broken cans of biscuits reference. (I hope it wasn't me though...)

Don Mills Diva said...

I had a Tong once too - he always bough me a bag of cheesies when I went to the bingo with my grandma. I went on and on about how I was going to marry him. I'm sure when exactly I realized he was 100 pounds overweight and toothless...

Treasia said...

I agree, love the reference to the broken can of biscuits. I laughed so hard on that one.

Ann said...

Does Tony emit some kind of pheromone, do you think? How does he make YOU feel? Do you get weak in the knees or anything, or does he just emit the kidlet pheromone?

Dang, that's some powerful crap - you need to bottle it and give it a few pumps during tantrums.

Kristi said...

I want to live in your town where everybody knows everybody's name. Hiya Tong!

g said...

Resembles broken can of biscuits

Poppin' fresh!

Jennifer H said...

That we me at the mall in the Spandex. I didn't think you saw me.

Tong sounds great. But my kids would never meet someone like him at our grocery store, since...we have free childcare while we shop. It is freaking awesome and comprises 99% of the reasons I would consider not moving away from here.

Melissa said...

Resembles broken can of biscuits! Priceless! lol!

ekbetsy said...

I wish I could have seen the Mohawk on the carousel. I live for irony like that.

insane mama said...

Tootsie
You should be happy to have a store where the cashiers actually speak to your children, around here, people barely even make eye contact. (Los Angeles area)
your Labels cracked me up
Kids, shopping, witty observations, can all three of those be used in the same sentence?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Girls these days are definitely opposed to big hair. Flat, flatter, flattest--no matter how long it takes!

Mr. Farklepants said...

One weekend I will be carting the groceries from the car to the kitchen for TF, and girl child will say "Daddy, Tong always does that for mommy, not you!"

Oh, one has to wonder what goes on in suburban supermarkets while we work.

stu said...

Forbidden Checker Love? Has she been secretly talking to my wife?

-Stu

Melissa said...

I wish we had a Tong and Friend. We have 2 kindly gentlemen who speak to Team Testosterone while shopping, but Tong sounds awesome.

Mrs. G. said...

I like that Girl Child is consistent and devoted in her Tong love. And, all ready, she likes a guy with a sense of humor.

Lisa Milton said...

I figured Stu would beat me to the obviously similar checker affliction - what is it with the grocers, ladies?

Allison said...

boundaries, schmoundaries - your grocery store sounds awesome! i don't think a single checker in our store ever said hello, much less played with the kids. Impressive. And your bank has toys. Are you living in the Matrix by any chance? :)

Colleen said...

You might've seen Cooper's fauxhawk...I'm not that kind of mama that will shave her baby's head yet for a real one. And I swear that Gavin is on Justin's shoulders so much that Justin might have a Gavin-butt-shaped dent on the back of his neck/shoulders.

THE MOM BOMB said...

If you show me your big teenage hair, I'll show you mine. We'll have ourselves a hair-off.

MommyTime said...

I love the scenes from the mall.

You should nab Tong as a sitter before every other mother in that line does! Seriously.

OHmommy said...

I need a Tong at my bank. Or as a babysitter.

Hmmmmm....

Lulu said...

Dang, I need a Tong at my grocery store. Heck, even a Friend will do...

Angie said...

Do the other kids call him Tong, too? I would love to hear their nicknames.

KEEP BELIEVING

Susie said...

Nice to hear that teenagers still do the mall. Except now they don't have to cruise the parking lot to see if their friends cars are there, they just use their cell phones. (twenty years ago, I was the one of those mall rats with big hair and {gasp} purple eye shadow.

kittyconcerto.com said...

Woman in spandex bottoms and too small top with spillage in the middle. Resembles broken can of biscuits.
So true so true.....
And how sweet is this Tong? A grown man who is super sweet to kids??? He must have a pack of ladies waiting to be his number one groupie.
*delurking here* I think this is the first time commenting, but have been reading a while. :)

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Lulu sighting 5 O'clock, people. It's a Lulu sighting.

Kittyconcerto~ Well welcome! Pull up a chair and tawk.

The Mom Bomb~ We totally should. I need Mr. Farklepants' scanning capabilities.

Laski said...

Seriously. I think Tong could make a killing . . . babysitting. A heck of a lot more than he makes now!

Oh, and I adore people watching at the mall. But, it is the track (as in horse/betting) where you get some real gems.

calicobebop said...

Broken can of biscuits! That's hilarious - and often true!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Could you please have Tong call the hot young checker at my Whole Foods and give tips about flirting, I mean TALKING, with customers?

That would be great. I absolutely promise I will not resemble a broken can of biscuits in the store.

JCK said...

Your grocery store sounds a lot more fun than mine!

Mall sightings. Priceless. Especially biscuit comment. HOWLED OUT LOUD.