If you’re desperate to know the degree of fancy to which I live my life, I almost always have dark roots that I try to pass off as ombre and I buy my wine at gas stations. The liquor store is closed by the time I get off of work and all of the grocery stores would require me to venture off my route towards home. Normally these pit stops are quick and painless. I’m sometimes inconvenienced by the cashier asking me a plethora of questions about wine and if the one they’re ringing up is a good one - I’m buying a $6 bottle of cabernet with dust on the bottle from a place with “KUM” in the name. I probably shouldn’t be the one to answer those questions. But if you want to know if it pairs well with leftover pasta salad and will briefly numb the excruciating pain in your feet from dancing for four hours in ill-fitting heels then I’m your girl.
My stop the other night however, where do I even begin?
First I spent nearly twenty minutes waiting on the guy in front of me to play Keno and purchase nearly every lottery ticket the place had. Sir, if you’re reading this, they have erected entire buildings for the purpose of gambling. They’re called casinos. I promise I’m not yanking your chain, Google it. Also, I’m not a fan of you and I hope that everything you bought was a bust.
I was moments away from putting my bottle down on the nearest shelf and surrendering myself to drinking a couple of my dad’s Keystone Lights when I was finally able to approach the checkout. I put my bottle of wine on the counter and was given a glaring once-over by the seemingly bitter male cashier.
“I need to see your ID.”
In my twenties I was always annoyed by this statement. Look, I know my face barely changed since I was five and I have the body of an adolescent boy but I promise you I’m old enough to buy booze. At 33 I kind of want to punch 20-something me in the front butt while I shed a few happy tears and hug the people who think that I could possibly be 12 years younger than I actually am. Let me introduce you to perspective.
I handed him my ID while probably grinning like an idiot.
He looks at my ID.
Looks at me.
Looks at my ID again.
“I need you to take off your glasses.”
I obliged knowing that taking off my glasses wasn’t also going to magically remove my show makeup and transform me into the barefaced and sweating version of myself pictured in my ID (I had to renew my license in the middle of summer, in the middle of summer in Arkansas) but I simply hoped he wasn’t a moron and understood the transformative power of fake eyelashes and winged eyeliner. It’s a good thing I didn’t hold my breath.
“This isn’t you.”
Considering I haven’t carried a fake ID since 2004 I was obviously confused.
Me: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s me. It’s literally my face.”
Him: “Nah, you’re a lot prettier than the girl in this picture.”
In retrospect I should’ve responded “well you’re no prize yourself” and laid into him with one of my feminist empowerment speeches about how the problem with this world is that men think they’re at liberty to make such comments about a woman’s appearance. And that women face enough criticism at the hand of their own internal dialogue because of society’s already unrealistic expectations about how they should look and act so his comment was not only unnecessary but actually exacerbates the problem of gender normification. And even if I wasn’t in a constant state of agitation over how women are treated and treat themselves, telling anyone that they aren’t “as pretty” because they haven’t painted their face on is just rude. And rude people are the worst.
Unfortunately my quick wit isn’t so quick after doing two shows and it’s almost nonexistent when all of my energy is being utilized in practicing my patience. In these cases, wit is usually replaced by tears. In this particular case, wit was replaced by dumb stupor and I just stood there in uncomfortable silence until he eventually rang up my purchase. I assumed he sensed I wasn’t going to leave quietly AND empty handed.
Perhaps when the lottery guy has finished reading this he will tell the cashier guy so they can collectively mull over their indiscretions and start making better life choices.