She Didn’t Card Me (It Was Horrifying)

But then I told myself this one thing that made it all ok

I use the self-checkouts at the store…what can I say, I’m an extreme introvert and I avoid all contact with humans if possible.

So, when I was scanning my wine last week, I stepped aside like always, and waited for the attendant.

The red light was blinking above my register and she came scurrying over, scanned my Pinot, and waited to enter whatever nonsense they have to on the screen.

This time, I happened to read the onscreen prompt.

It said, “Is the customer under 40?”

She looked at my face, furrowed her brow.

Her gaze moved to my hair and she scrutinized me for what felt like infinity.

My face became hot, my ears were on fire, but I didn’t dare move.

I stood still, knowing she was computing my age. I tried to relax my face while I waited for her to ask for my card.

It never happened.

Then, to stop the madness, I quickly said, “yes, I’m under 40, here’s my card.”

I was mortified.

I’ve always been really accepting of aging, and as my husband says every year when I do complain, “Well, babe, what's the alternative?”

I’ve come to realize aging is a part of life, and it means I’m alive and well.

Regardless, the moment was unbearably uncomfortable for the both of us. And I found myself consoling her through her embarrassment.

“Man, that’s gotta be uncomfortable,” I said.

She nodded and told me that it’s hard to tell with some people, and I felt bad for her. She probably has to embarrass 37-year-olds buying their crying wine on a daily basis.

I looked down at my half-completed order, threw the wine in the cart alongside all the other comfort food and grabbed a snickers from the candy shelf.

I finished checking out and pushed my purchase through the doors in a daze.

Usually, I call my sister or my hubby and tell them my woeful stories, hoping for consolation.

This time, as I drove home, I considered what just happened. In silence.

And I let it sink in.

By the time I got home, I worked it into my mind that it must have been because I didn’t put makeup on, or spend any time on my hair. That’s why she couldn’t tell.

But the truth was, I am almost 40 years old.

And that means I look my age.

What’s wrong with that?

Not a thing…because I’m alive, and what’s the alternative?

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Writer | Oiler | Nature Lover | Goatherd | Authenticity & Intentional Living Coach for Women

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