I am on the cusp of entering a new decade. The fact that I have remained in my current decade while my husband slowly creeps further and further into his old man status is something of a running joke in our house. I only get to enjoy poking fun of him like this for about 31 months out of every 10 years, so I make full use of my time. This is my second run at it, so I’m starting to get good. In all honesty Dan wears his 30’s well. And I actually prefer 30’s-Dan to 20’s-Dan. I think he does too.
However, as this juncture between decades arrives, anxiety has slowly set in, as have the gray hairs and wrinkles I swear weren’t there a few days ago. I started reconciling with stating a new prefix on my age – even began to like the sound. I thought I was good to go. Until this kid flung a 4 letter word at me and looked at me like it was a compliment.
After an over productive afternoon of budgeting, bill writing, making doctor appointments for the kids, laundry, dishes, and checking boxes off my list, I belly flopped from the to-do high dive into late afternoon, the wind knocked out of me. Leaving Dave Ramsey at home I bundled up the kids and ventured out in search of some drive-through relief.
I ordered between cries from my 5 month old and pulled around the side of the building. The crazy haired teenager at the window smiled, handed my drink over, and let me know my order would be right out. After a few minutes his hand extended from his window with a paper bag filled with the deep fried results of my stressful day and poor decision making and apologized for the wait “ma’am.” Huh-what? I almost turned around to see if someone was behind me. Awkward silence, concerned smile, insincere “thanks.” He thought I was upset about the wait. I knew I was upset about the name he’d just called me. To. My. Face.
I am all for customer service, the use of proper titles, and other polite gestures I think this coming generation is lacking… you know, like eye contact. (Yeah, you – blonde girl at Pita Pit. How about some eye contact and a smile with my chicken souvlaki). And the parents of the kid at the drive-through should be very proud of him; he was friendly, polite, looked at me when he talked, and minus calling me a foul name, he did his job well. But seriously, no one has EVER been happy after being called “ma’am.” No one. Ever. So, a little tip to our eager cashier friend – when in doubt, er on the side of “miss.”
Okay, so let’s be honest here. Clearly, I’m no jegging wearing, UGG stomping college student. Also, I was driving a mommy van. But I could have easily been the nanny or the aunt or some random person who just really loves minivans. I mean, it’s perfectly normal to order supper a 4:58pm. Right? … right? Sigh.
“I’m getting old,” I told Dan when he got home and I recounted the events to him. He should have taken the opportunity to turn the tables on me, reminded me of how many days I have left this side of young, or said something like “You’re not getting that old…ma’am,” and then snickered. Instead he smiled and kissed my head, “Then let’s get old together.”
Dang it. I hate it when he does that. I mean I love it. But I hate it.
We have aged almost 15 years together. Half of my life has been spent with him. We were dating when I started my very first job, and he’s the one I came home to when I left my very last day of work to stay at home with our 3 kids. In 15 more years, my dear, we will have 2 college aged kids, and another preparing to leave the nest. You will be toeing the line of half a century and I will be touching up my roots and gracefully settling into my mid 40’s. And there we will be, adding laugh lines, getting older, and grayer, and more wonderful, and together.