Does This Plumcot Make Me Look Old?

0801caa12baeb21bb6648a232a5305e1Do not go to the grocery store, kittens. Sure, you desperately need a new jar of Biscoff after last night’s Buffy marathon, but is that cookie dip worth your self-esteem? The local mini-max may seem oppression free, but you’re wrong. So, so wrong! I have seen evil and it wears a Piggly Wiggly name tag.

I may be giving in to hyperbole here, but it’s hard to think through all the trauma. The last three times I’ve been to grocery stores in town, a horrid scene has unfolded. Why, my heart writhes, just recounting it here.

Clerk: Hello, ma’am! How’s you’re day?
Grace: Peachy, thanks There’s no sign of the apocalypse today, so I can totally bake cookies tonight.
Clerk: Uh ok. Paper or plastic?
Grace: Paper!
Clerk: Here’s your receipt and a Buddy coupon for the little one at home.
Grace: *screams, flails, runs*

The little one at home. THE LITTLE ONE AT HOME.

Kittens, people think I have a little one at home. What the fresh hell is happening in the world? Sure, when I turned 28, I joked about how it was all downhill from here, because of my depleting cellular renewal, but the operative word was joked. I didn’t actually think I’d go from being carded for pink wine to being offered free pacifiers overnight. The great grocery gods have moved me from one demographic to another and they must be punished.

Apparently, I look like a mom. Something about me—my hair, my makeup, my magic invisible scrunchie that only grocery clerks can see—screams that I am responsible for another human life. Damn it, I am not a mother. It’s not that I am against mothering, it’s just that I’m relishing these years of being decidedly un-mom.  I can wear low cut tops, without fear of toddler hands! I drink on weeknights! I never clean up soggy Cheerios!

It’s the contents of my basket, isn’t it? It’s no secret that grocery clerks judge what comes by on the conveyor belt. Just ask any thirteen year-old girl, when she’s confronted with all male cashiers and a pressing tampon quest. Priyanka knows you’re judging her feminine product strength, Bryce, she’s not dumb. If I had to guess what purchase was causing this phenomenon, I’d go with fruit. In my college days of Pop Tarts and Gushers, no one ever assumed I was spawning, but throw a plumcot in there and you’re basically PTA president. Care just a little bit about your dietary health and—poof!—it’s all nappies and child leashes. 

78238d97631b7de2fdfbfa1b037d52d9World, let me have this moment, okay? Stop trying to force your expectations of child possession on me. Just because my hips are wide and made for baby making does not mean I am currently making babies! Not every late twenty-something has or even wants children, you know. Unless you see a child or child-specific items in a cart, it’s best to not mention les enfants. I could be child phobic for all you know! If you came into my office, I wouldn’t assume you’re on Viagra, just because you’re over the age of sixty-five. I’d give you the chance to proclaim your testosterone level. It’s common courtesy! 

Sigh. I’m going to start wearing those low cut tops to the grocery store, in the hopes of ending this disturbing trend. Of course, then maybe they’ll just think I’m a trashy mom chasing her youth. That’s worse somehow, isn’t it?

– Grace


14 thoughts on “Does This Plumcot Make Me Look Old?

  1. Going to the grocery store has always bothered me. I feel like I am getting judged every time, and I don’t want to stand there and chat about my diet with some high school worker. I just want to buy my ice cream and tollhouse cookies without someone commenting on the amount of chocolate I’m purchasing. Why is it that every grocery store employee feels the need, or right, I can’t decide which, to comment on everything they see? Ugh. Totally feel you on this. Also, yeah they might think you are a trashy mom, but maybe you can mess with them a little 😉

  2. These kind of shopping trips can be fraught with danger. Particularly late night ones when the place is quiet and the person on the checkout has more time to size up the contents of your basket. I recently went to the supermarket at 10pm and bought a trashy magazine, a bottle of wine and a pregnancy test. The lady asked for my ID and I didn’t have any on me. (I’m 27.) I looked at her and said “I’ve had a really bad day…” She looked at the pregnancy test, looked back at me and said “OK, just this once.”

  3. I think it’s our location. Somehow, I’m convinced that were we not in the middle of the country, there would be fewer comments about the sand quickly running through our uteruses. Why am I not married? I don’t want to be. Why don’t I have kids? I don’t want to be. The expectations are exhausting enough without jam in my hair.

    • Yeah I was going to comment regarding that. I live in Portland, OR, and I would probably be judged if I DIDN’T buy fruit, ha. No one has ever assumed I have kids. However, I did judge people when I worked as a cashier at Target, it’s fun! Haha. But seriously, older woman with a bottle of wine and condoms…? I didn’t say anything, she immediately says “it’s not what it looks like.” Sure, m’am. 🙂

  4. I’m 26 now, the question I’ve always heard since I’ve turned 18 was ‘When are you going to get married?’ now that I am married the new questions is ‘When are you going to have kids?’ I stop myself from hyperventilating and calmly (If you can call spitting out through gritted teeth, calmly) state i will have kids when I’m good and ready and that may be never.

  5. Getting judged while grocery shopping when you’re probably not looking your best anyway, is horrible. Though, I’m not sure whether it’s old age (29), but I just don’t care anymore!

    Though the one time I did care was when I was buying a bottle of booze in amongst other bits and pieces. Didn’t have any ID on me and was judged to be under the age of 21 and so was not allowed to be old enough for said bottle of booze. I should have been flattered, instead I was irked that some 17 year old didn’t think I was old enough.

    Logic goes out of the window grocery shopping!

  6. “Depleting cellular renewal,” haha love that! I’m 20, and while I’ve never been mistaken for a mother, people always think I’m my sisters’ nanny when I come home for the summer (they’re 14 and 17). Maybe it’s because I dress like a tired, disheveled mess on most hot summer days? I should probably stop doing that…

  7. For me I always hear “now your grandmother is getting a bit on in her years…we wouldn’t want her missing out on the patter of little grandchild feet now would we?”
    I am 22. I am single. I am haunted.

  8. I’m with you girl 🙂 Fight the power! Your only 28.. and 28 is the new 18 right? Who cares? just have fun and be yourself. Those damn stores are just stereotyping and don’t really know/or care anything about u 🙂 damn they!!! 🙂

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