I texted a good friend first thing this morning and said, “I just finished putting my makeup on. I’m going to work Scotch tape into my daily routine at the mirror now, because I’ve decided my eyes look better when I pull the skin at my temples backward.”
I’m not sure how I got to this point in my life, but my twenty year old self just died a little, while my over-forty self wondered if the money we’ve socked away for the boys’ college funds might be better spent on “just a tiny tuck.” It all happens so fast, too. One minute, you’re admiring the way you look in a pair of acid-washed jeans in a dressing room mirror, and marveling over how they come up so high over your belly button, and WHOA! These are gonna look so good paired with that Esprit sweater I have, and then BOOM! Suddenly, you’re sitting on a bench in the park, watching your kid throw sand at another kid, and talking to the friend next to you about what facial product sold by Clinique does the best job at hiding age spots on your face.
These are difficult times that we live in today.
Also? Whose old lady hands are these that stick out of my sweatshirt sleeves? You forget lotion for one day, and suddenly I have hands that look like they should be marking a bingo card with a giant green blotter and grabbing butter mints out of the sterling silver dish on the table.
Do y’all know about the Grave Digger?
(I’m sorry; there was just no easy way to make a transition between aging and monster trucks, so I did a HARD SWITCH of topics. Somewhere, my former English professor just grabbed her heart with chest pains.)
The Grave Digger is a monster truck. I’ve actually known about it for years, because my nephew H, who is on the brink of turning twenty entire years old, loved that famous truck with a deep passion when he was five.
(And I need to interject a personal note right here. Dear H, I know you’re just about to turn twenty right now, and you’re a GUY… but please. Use a daily sunscreen on your face, because time is going to march on, right across your cheekbones. Your forty-year-old self will thank you for listening to me.)
The boy was never into monster trucks that much, because Legos took up every ounce of space that could otherwise have been dedicated to enormous tires and mud bogging in his life. The boy was flat-out NUTS about Legos, so everything else took a backseat to the Death Star, which was built with forty-six-point-nine million colored bricks. But now we have Thing 2, and he adores a good monster truck show, because his personality is big and loud and animated, and he cannot sit still long enough to put together a million Lego pieces.
Or even thirty Lego pieces.
Just recently, Thing 2 discovered the Grave Digger on You Tube, and that is all he watches now. Every time we go into Walmart, he wants to look at and hug the giant Grave Digger truck, which costs seventy-five American dollars, and then there are tears, because WHY ARE YOU SUCH A MEAN PARENT WHO WON’T BUY ME THIS GREEN TRUCK WITH THE MASSIVE TIRES?
Seventy-five dollars; that’s why I’m so mean. And multiply that by two boys, because I love them both. If one of them gets a $75 monster truck, the other one is going to want seventy-five dollars in cold, hard cash to spend as he wishes, because THAT WOULD ONLY BE FAIR, MA.
And then today, we ended up at the grocery store, because it was cold and dark and gloomy, and chili really sounded delicious for dinner. We popped in to pay the higher prices, because I didn’t have the emotional strength to deal with the crowds at Walmart, since I just needed a few things.
As it turned out, it was Senior Citizen Discount Day at this grocery store. Every person over the age of seventy-nine in our community was there, buying cartloads of groceries, because TEN PERCENT OFF!
In light of my morning experience with a newfound need for Scotch tape at my temples to smooth out the skin a bit, I felt like I fit right in. The crowds were even thicker than they would have been at Walmart. I texted Hubs and said, “It’s Senior Discount Day here at the grocery store. I’m hoping my lone chin hair will get me 10% off our total bill.”
Hubs texted back and said, “Work it, Baby! Work it! Save some money for our family!”
I have no explanation for why I still have a deep crush on Hubs; the heart just wants what it wants, I guess.
When we had our onion and our kidney beans in the cart, along with the tomatoes, grated cheese, sour cream and HOW DID THIS GIANT JUG OF STARBUCKS-BRAND VANILLA LATTE GET IN OUR CART, we headed for the checkout lanes. My failure to read aisle signs meant that I made a horrible turn, and we headed straight down the aisle adorned with cheap, grocery-store toys.
That aisle is every mother’s worst nightmare, and is, in fact, avoided by every woman pushing a cart with a child in it… at all costs.
And THAT, people, is how Thing 2 came to yell out, “THE GRAVE DIGGER!!!!!” at the top of his lungs. Right there, dangling off a hook between the whoopie cushion and the doodle board filled with magnetic dust, was the $4.99 version of the Grave Digger.
In other words, it fit our budget.
I gave into it, even though I am not a fan of the name or the truck’s decals. It’s a bit gross.
Thing 2 acted like I had just handed him the moon, because GRAVE DIGGER, Y’ALL!!! It was the granddaddy of all mud-bogging, big-tires, loud-pipes, crowd-awe-ing trucks around!!
And then we headed straight for the checkout lines.
When we got there, we were in a sea of older folks, and every line looked like tickets had gone on sale for a Bing Crosby concert. With twenty-two items in our cart (I counted), we pulled into the FIFTEEN-ITEMS-OR-LESS EXPRESS LANE, because I felt that “fifteen items or less” was more of a guideline than a rule. I may have been cheating the elderly out of a spot in the quick lane, but I HAD A TODDLER WHO DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF WAITING PATIENTLY.
That alone should be its own fast-pass to the head of any checkout line.
As I started to toss items onto the conveyor belt, Thing 2 hollered at the eighty-year-old lady next to us, “I got the Grave Digger!” And he proudly showed her his treasure.
She cupped a hand around her ear, and hollered back, “What’s that, honey? Whatcha got?”
He yelled louder, “I got the Grave Digger! You should get a Grave Digger, too!”
And that is when she frowned at me.
She frowned at me with the frown that is reserved for parents of disrespectful children. She tsk-tsked her head back and forth and asked me, “Did he just tell me that I needed a grave digger?”
Sweet mercy! How to explain?!
I opened my mouth, and began… “It’s a monster tr……….”
And that is when she yanked her cart backward and switched checkout lines altogether, removing herself from any punk three-year-old, who would tell her eighty-year-old self that she needed a grave digger. I just wish she could’ve seen the capitalized letters on Grave Digger; punctuation can change a sentence entirely. I thought about leaving my spot in the line and going three checkout lanes down to let her know that my boy was just talking about a monster truck with enormous tires, SO PLEASE FORGIVE US, but she was deep in conversation with a gentleman who looked to be one hundred.
I’m sure they were having a conversation full of HASHTAG, THE YOUTH OF TODAY ARE SO DISRESPECTFUL AND THEIR PARENTS ALLOW IT, and THIS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICA.
I didn’t get the ten percent discount on my chili ingredients.
I guess my hands didn’t look old enough (cue excited cheerleaders shaking pompoms at THAT victory), and I just plucked my lone chin hair out two days ago, so I’m going to smack the grocery store down as a total WIN today, even though we accidentally hurt a woman’s feelings.