Thursday, February 19, 2009

When this grey world crumbles like a cake

My parents and my aunt and her new boyfriend (that term seems so inappropriate for someone her age --- male companion?) took me out to dinner at a pretty nice place for my birthday this month.

I ordered a margarita and our waiter --- an ebullient, perhaps even overly effusive, fellow --- carded me. I showed him my ID, saying, "I'm nearly forty years old."

He said, "Really? You look all of nineteen!"

(Normally, people say "early twenties;" either they're being diplomatic, or my new haircut has shaved off a couple-five years.)

Later, on one of his many stops by our table to check up on us, the Cheerful Waiter said in a chatty way that he was jealous: "I'm 44, and I would love to look as young as you." I glanced up at him; he was a fairly boyish-looking guy himself, nothing like 44 in appearance. Early thirties, at most. I would have said something to that effect, but I decided that our relationship was already at the level I wanted it to be. No need to let things blossom further by throwing compliments around haphazardly.


Later, my mother said, "I wish you wouldn't tell people how old you are. It reflects badly on me."

Like her own mother, my mother is terrified of being thought of as old. But, you know, (a) the guy's our waiter --- I'm pretty sure he doesn't give a rat's ass how old she is; (b) he couldn't have known for sure that she was my mother anyway; (c) we're probably not going to see him ever again; and (d) well gosh, some people are sixty-something. That's just how life is.

But, all that aside, my aunt replied, "He could hardly help it. The waiter was holding his driver's license at the time."

"Well," my mother said, "Chance doesn't have to make it easy for him!"


Hypothetical scenario based on my mother's thought processes

Me: "It's my birthday! An alcoholic beverage, to celebrate, please, my good man."
Waiter: "I'll need to see some ID."
Me: "But of course! Here you are."
Waiter [looking at card]: "And how old are you today?"
Me: "That's for me to know and you to find out!"
Waiter: "Uh... Okay? You were born in---"
Me [throwing bread rolls at Waiter's head]: "Not finding it so easy to subtract four digit numbers now, are you, Euler?!"
Waiter: "Please stop that, sir."


Yankee in England said...

Trying to giggle quietly at my desk as I read this, not working well.

Churlita said...

Aging is funny business. I can't imagine caring if someone knows how old I am. But I'm not in my 60's yet either, so maybe I'll be singing a different tune then.

Chance said...

Thanks, Yank!

Yeah, I think the fear of aging is mostly last generation's anxiety.

Michael5000 said...

Oh, not at all. I'm mortified of aging. But doing it all the same. And clinging to the hope, that we'll never have that recipe again.