Waving The (Six) Flags For Humanity

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 5, 2018

(I am a cashier at a very nice grocery store. During a slow day, a small boy — about eight to ten years old — runs up to the belt.)

Boy: “Can you just watch these groceries for a second? I need to get my grandma.”

(Since it’s a slow day, I agree. The boy soon comes running back with his grandmother, who is in one of those motorized carts. She has a tank of oxygen in the cart and is moving slowly. The boy runs around happily putting all the groceries on the belt. I see a lot of soda, a lot of bottled water, and other things.)

Grandmother: *to the boy* “Do you think you have enough snacks there for Six Flags?

Me: “Oh, you’re going to Six Flags? Awesome!”

Boy: “I KNOW! I’m so excited! I get to see my mom again, ‘cause she’s working two jobs!”

(Yes, he does say that. Oversharing, I’m sure, but he was so enthusiastic about it.)

Grandmother: *to me* “I won the tickets online. I couldn’t believe it; it was the first time I’d won anything!”

(By now, their groceries are all scanned. My bagger, as is the custom, asks if they would like help out.)

Boy: “No, thanks; I’ve got it!”

(He proceeded to stand patiently by while his grandmother paid, then pushed the cart out, waiting for her. Totally restored my faith in his generation. He was so mature for his age, and so capable. Wherever he is, I hope he had a lot of fun at Six Flags! Best. Customer. Ever.)

Such A Cute Little Cookie

, , , , | Related | April 4, 2018

(A grandma and her little grandson have just picked out a cupcake decorated to look like a sundae for him, and I ask if today is special. It turns out the little boy fell at school and has a minor injury on his head. Feeling bad, I go for the free cookies the store gives out to children.)

Me: “I know something that might make that feel better. Would you like a cookie?”

Boy: “No.”

Grandma & Me: “No?”

Boy: “Maybe tomorrow.”

Grandma: “Maybe tomorrow?”

(We both laughed, and I waved goodbye as the little boy clutched his packaged cupcake. I hope the little cutie feels better!)

An Ocean Of Passive-Aggressiveness

, , , , | Related | March 28, 2018

(My mom and sister have taken my four-year-old daughter to the library while I’m at work. The library has a station of seashells for the children to look at.)

Sister: “If you put the seashell to your ear, you can hear the ocean!”

Daughter: “Oh, I hear it! Grandma, listen!”

(She holds the seashell to my mom’s ear.)

Daughter: “Can you hear it, Grandma?”

Grandma: “No.”

Daughter: “Well, maybe if you’d stop talking, you would hear it.”

Nana Nono

, , , , | Related | March 24, 2018

(My parents and I are on a road trip with my grandmother. Nana has never liked me much. We’ve been driving for a long time, and we are all tired and hungry. Finally, my dad spots a likely place to stop and have dinner.)

Restaurant Employee: “How old is your daughter, sir?”

Dad: “She’s 15.”

Restaurant Employee: “I’m very sorry, but because this is basically a bar that also serves food, minors aren’t allowed to come in.”

Dad: “But she’s not going to drink anything.”

Restaurant Employee: “I’m sorry, sir. That’s the law.”

Dad: “We’re really hungry.”

Restaurant Employee: “I’m so sorry. There’s nothing I can do. I could lose my job.”

(As we turned, dejectedly, to leave…)

Nana: “Why doesn’t [My Name] just wait in the car? That way, at least the three adults could get something to eat.”

(We all stop dead and stare at her.)

Nana: “What? We could bring her out something once we’re done, or get her food later!”

(She was convinced that she’d thought of a brilliant solution, and she couldn’t understand why leaving me alone in the car in a strange town for an hour or more wasn’t such a great idea.)

Unless You’re Dying, It’s Not Worth My Time

, , , , | Related | March 16, 2018

(My grandmother is a stern, no-nonsense matriarch with some rather peculiar ideas about health, from growing up in a time when castor oil was the only medicine available. I’ve dislocated my ankle the day before and I haven’t had any treatment for it. As I limp downstairs for breakfast, I feel in terrible pain and as if I’m about to throw up. I try and make it to the bathroom, but I fall in a dead faint halfway there. My mother later tells me she heard the thud from the cellar. When I come back to my senses, I’m white as a sheet, lying spread eagle on the corridor floor, and my parents are kneeling at either side with eyes as wide as dinner plates. My grandmother comes out of her bedroom and sees the scene…)

Grandmother: “What’s going on? [My Name], are you running a fever?”

Me: *still out of it, and it shows* “No… I don’t think…”

Grandmother: “Oh. That’s good.”

(And she literally walks over me on her way to the kitchen!)

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