The Kids These Days

The other night I went to the store wearing a cotton long-sleeved gray shirt and some navy drawstring terrycloth pants with a white stripe down the legs. I looked at myself before I took off in the car to make sure I looked ok. I had made bread that day so I had a little bit of flour on my chest and thigh, but I just brushed it off and went on my way. I had to buy some necessities at nine o clock at night.

When ready I go through the line and a bag boy demands to take my groceries to the car. "I have twenty minutes and nothing to do anyway," he says.

"Well, alright." I really hate letting bag boys put groceries in my car. What I need help with more is unloading when I get home.

When we get out into the cool, crisp night, he looks me up and down and says, "If I were off work, I would totally be dressed like you."

"Huh?" I say incredulously.

"I mean, you look comfortable."

"Oh, ok. Well, I have been wearing this all day. I homeschool three kids so comfort is a big deal to me."

"Cool. I have an older brother who is 21 and a younger sister who is 15. I'm eighteen. When I am off work, I like love to get all dressed up and wear my pink polo shirt and all that." He puts some groceries in my car. I think about what he has just said to me.

"Pink? That is so eighties. I am sorry, but I can't stand pink on a guy," I say bluntly.

"Oh man, I LOVE it. I mean, all the chicks say that I am 'so hot' when I wear pink." He pulls up his collar in a jivey way and backs up like he is Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. He tugs on a white surfer shell necklace around his scrawny little neck. "I wear the pink polo shirt and this necklace and the girls are just..." he makes a sort of sizzling sound.

I think about this. He really is not much to shout about, but you know, what do I know? "Sorry," I say. "I still think it is really eighties. Which reminds me. You probably were born then, weren't you?"

"Not really. I was born in eighty-eight."

I really thought that qualified as the "eighties" but maybe I am wrong. Hmmm...

"Well, I am really old," I say, "I am eleven years older than you."

He completely skips this.

"Yeah, and when I go out, I wear the pink polo shirt, this necklace, (he tugs on it again as if I can not see it---how could I not? It is sort of massive) and do you know that show 'Miami Vice'?"

"Yes, I know 'Miami Vice'. Of course."

"Well, you know how they dress?"

"Yeah, horrible," I say. "It has that guy---"

"Don Johnson," he blurts out.

"Yeah, Don Johnson."

"I like to wear sportcoats like that---"

I am getting into my car at this point.

"Sort of an aqua color..."

He is backing up into the night but he keeps going.

"And my hair, I---"

"Crimping must be in again," I say, thinking about girl's hair nowadays.

"Yeah, but I don't crimp it. I sort of spike it--" he comes closer again. I close my door a bit.

"Uh, have a nice day!" he waves.

"Enjoy your pink shirt!" I say.

When I was eighteen I had a baby, I worked so that I could help put food on the table because my dad was sick and disabled, and I, just never like, talked like a total breezehead.


shealyisnottheantichrist said...

Just think, this guy is old enough to vote. Makes you wonder why we are not in worse shape.

Aunt Jo said...

What a hoser aye??

It is scary to think of the babies born the year I graduated (87) are working now and having families. Very weird.

R said...

Shealy---it does scare me that he is old enough to vote. I wonder if they should up the age until 25. Even a lot of 25 year olds are complete losers.

Josephina---He was a total dork, yes. I guess that is why he is a bag boy. It takes some people so long to grow up. It is kind of sad.

Badoozie said...

this totally cracked me up...i read it to my son.

the eighties...yes, 88 is so eighties... and i did have a pink polo shirt too. izod i mean.

thats why i don't like bag kids/people taking my bags out, cause i feel like i have to use mundane conversational tactics, and i hate that. i just wanna be left alone!!