The Kids These Days

So I went to Trader Joe's tonight to get some chips. I take all the kids with me as usual and of course, I am a little frazzled and barking orders---you know. I decide at the last minute to buy Dear Sir some beer and I get to the checkout. My oldest kid is sitting on the riding lawn mower cart reading right by the register. My two younger ones are twirling around, picking up packs of gum, you know the routine. The guy at the checkout(who is acne-faced and probably 18) takes the beer and scans it. I quickly pull out my ID (like I usually do because they always ask me) and what do you know, the guy shakes his head and says, "No, there's no need for that."

"Oh, really? That's a first!" I say.

"Hey! Quit that!" he says.

"What? Quit what?" I say.

"Not you---him---he keeps pushing that button on the cart...it gets really annoying."

I look at my kid. "Knock it off," I mouth to him.

"Yeah, sometimes they can be annoying," I say.

"Do you want this beer in a bag?"

"Uh, no. I don't care. Whatever."

"Looks like you've had a long day," he says.

Oh nice, I think. Thanks a million. First tell me "there is no need" for my ID because I look like a geezer, and then tell me that I am weathered too. Like I look like the last dog died and I just "happen" on a Trader Joe's with all my crew and think, "hey, I think I will buy some chips and beer!"

I look over at my kids. The youngest one is outside the store smashing her face in the window, hands splayed out, looking like a terror. He looks at her---he looks at me.

"Every day is a long day," I say.

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