Pretty Girl? Depends.

It’s been a funny day. I’ve had the usual breadth of topics on my mind, building thoughts, plans, actions, jokes, questions, and Google searches on all of the following (and more):

  • Dog adoption
  • Jobs, career and job search
  • Human puberty
  • Dog puberty
  • Sustainability of educational models
  • What if my son’s self-described “mildly” dog-allergic friend were to eat the dog we are considering adopting? Would this step up the level of concern or reaction to dangerous (for the child)?

I like the variety of things that occupy my mind. It reflects my multiplicity. All of us “are” a lot of different things! I think it’s cool that people can see themselves as various things, depending on the moment. I certainly do. I have a little Avatar character in my head for most of the things I am.

After spending adequate time in thought I made a Target run. Enough thinking, researching or networking. It was time to focus on the things that represent an input/output, productive life–like laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, and a new broom. (Floor—not Quiddich.)

I certainly never dreamed I’d be blogging my Target list. Stay with me.

I offer you the contents of my Target list because they stand in notable contrast to the thinking and planning of earlier in the morning. Even the switch from one to the other seemed like life itself. Thought. Function. Thought. Function.

At Target I bought a cartful of the aforementioned functional stuff and then headed toward the checkout, making a brief diversion when my eye was caught by a beautiful decoration that I liked but had no intent to buy. I left my cart just outside of the aisle I’d been in, putting it out of the way so the broom handle wouldn’t knock anything off the shelf or get in anyone’s way. I then went a few aisles over to see the item that had caught my eye. After a quick look I was back on track, so I grabbed my cart and walked away from the decorations.

I had already started thinking about the next productive thing and was on a beeline toward checkout. Not entirely oblivious to the world around me, I caught eyes with an older gentleman pushing a cart. He had on a red hat and red pullover, sort of sporty and academic at once. He was striking, like the decoration I had already once changed course to see. His sparkling eyes beneath the cap brim said he had a question, so I knew I was about to become an ambassador. That’s another thing I am. I very much see myself as such. That Avatar has a little name badge even.

He asked if there was any chance I could direct him to the pillows. Before I could get the words, “Decorative, or sleeping kind?” out of my mouth, he put his hand to his forehead and pointed out with a laugh that, never mind…bed pillows are right there. My ambassador mooted, I became a comedienne (I’m her, too) and said, “Well, dang. Now I don’t get to be your hero!” He responded by saying, friendly and gentlemanly, “It’s okay. I still got to see a pretty girl.” I laughed. Me the comedienne loves repartee–and what a quick response he had for this. I asked, “So can I still consider myself a hero then?” He responded in the affirmative as we walked away, both smiling.

Then I was thinking, “Pretty girl.” I wonder how many women my age would fixate on the girl versus woman question, or even be offended at having been noted as pretty rather than helpful or friendly. I will readily admit that I was both flattered and taken aback at the idea of it—girl, woman, or lady notwithstanding. The pretty part struck me because I’ve got no Avatar for that. I’m a lot of things, but that is not one of them.

Discussion of whether or not this is true is nowhere near the point, and I can’t stress that enough! The point is my discovery that for all, all, all of the things that I have a little character for in my head, pretty is not one of them. So it was funny that he chose THAT as his friendly end to our conversation.

I considered that there were people who would let the compliment go unfelt on the basis of “girl” as opposed to “woman,” or on the basis that their looks didn’t matter one little bit in that exchange. But you know what? My looks did matter. He saw friendly in me. Friendly might just be my Alpha Avatar, and I know this is what he saw and responded so delightfully to. Friendly IS pretty. So I guess it’s high time I think myself an Avatar that I regard as pretty, and then not stuff her away or think of her as a second class citizen in my lineup of identities.

Hang on, though. That’s not the end of the story. Remember how I said it had been a funny day? There’s not been humor yet. You know I can do better. Didn’t I use “comedienne” two times up above? I did.

I got to the checkout and got in line. As I started to unload my cart the broom handle did not hit me. The end. It’s my existentialist comedienne humor. How do you like it?

Just kidding.

I noted the absence of the broom handle when I reached into the card because I had worked around it the whole time I was in the store. Shoulda bought it last. Note to self the next time I buy a broom, in my next lifetime or if I finally make the Quiddich team. After not getting hit by the broom I reached in and grabbed the dish soap next to the little box of tissues, only to recall that I had not bought any dish soap.

Plus, what the hell…? Where are the rest of my things? You know where this is going, right? I had grabbed the wrong cart in my exit from the decorations diversion. Mine had been loaded down with family-sized paper goods and a broom. The cart I was about to unload had only one measly box of tissues, some dish liquid and Depends undergarments.

Depends undergarments. I don’t have an Avatar that needs them. Yet.

Laughing at myself as a cart stealer, I headed back to where I had left my cart. Then I saw a slightly older woman walking without a cart. I wanted to ask if this was her cart and confess to the inadvertent cart jacking. If it was hers she must have wondered where it had gone, right?



But I was absolutely at a loss for how certain you have to be to ask someone, “Is this your cart?” when the only items are tissues, dish soap and supplies for incontinence. After some thought I concluded that it’s a question you ask after you have asked when the baby is due. Long after.

Like I said, it’s been a funny day.

About Meredith M. Temple

I'm a full-grown child of the 1970's and 80's now making good on the detail that consistently appeared in my childhood vision of my adult life. I'm writing for pleasure, but now am doing it by blog rather than (or in addition to) the emails, notes and essays I have written for years just because it feels like breathing to me. I'm a full-time worker outside the home, and an all-the-time wife and mom of two boys, 9 and 14 years old. As such I throw a lot of footballs, shoot a lot of hoops, deliver a lot of lectures, swear more than I ought to, thank a lot of teachers and coach a few teams. If I'm your friend, neighbor, coworker or the person you met at the park, I am probably the one whose story was a bit too long, though hopefully entertaining. Remember, I'm happy to return the favor. I do love a good story, and I don't just mean my own.
This entry was posted in Funny Story, Positive Living and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pretty Girl? Depends.

  1. tawn says:

    You are fun to read Ms Meredith!


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