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The Generation Shame

, | Related | January 20, 2012

(I am a worker shelving new books. While I shelve, a grandmother is browsing, followed by her teenage grandson. A teenage girl around the same age is nearby, watching.)

Grandson: “How about we get her this?” *holds up bookmark*

Grandmother: “No, no, you can’t get a girl that! She’ll think you’re cheap!”

Grandson: “Grandma, it costs $9.95.”

Grandmother: “Pick out something else!”

Grandson: *sighs and holds up a sketchbook* “How about this?”

Grandmother: “No, no! Never in her life has your mother liked to draw! Pick out something else!”

Me: “Um, excuse me. There are some new bestsellers right over–”

Grandmother: “No, this kid needs to get his own presents! He is fifteen! I’m only here because he can’t drive!”

Me: “Well, okay. But, if you need any assistance, I’m here.”

Grandson: “Does Mom like poetry? There’s a whole shelf over–”

Grandmother: “Honestly! You’ve had the same mom for fifteen years and you don’t know if she likes poetry?!”

Grandson: “Grandma, you’re embarrassing me!”

Grandmother: “Come on, let’s look at the humor section!”

(She stomps off, grumbling. He slinks after her, head hung low. They pass the teenage girl who has been watching, who is trying not to laugh.)

Teenage Girl: “Cool grandma.”

Grandmother: *to her grandson* “See! She thinks I’m cool!”

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