September 8, 2014

compliment interception

It was a true Seinfeld moment.  In the face of a dire cereal shortage situation, I ran to Costco Sunday afternoon.  Last place I want to be on a Sunday.  Late afternoon.  Without bagels and specific cereal, our mornings run a muck.  So, I took one for the team.  Apparently my recent Costco visits were unsuccessful as my efforts were focused on the basic lunch box staples of granola bars, Rice Krispie treats, and Ziploc baggies.  Of course still being in summer mode, I also stockpiled cases of juice boxes.  CASES.  I suspect that my offspring would sound some kind of red alert and go into emergency mode if there weren't at least 12 juice boxes available to pack in the cooler bag for our pool visits.  Not sure how my siblings and I survived a summer without portable or disposable water bottles, or juice boxes.  We didn't wear seat belts either. . . I digress.

As I headed to the checkout, I spotted a young man who used to work with my husband.  He is still employed by the same company, but has been at a different location for several years now.  I chuckled to see him pushing a cart with a baby girl and a toddler girl.  He was a fresh faced, new college grad back when I used to bring the kids in to visit 'Daddy's work' years ago.  I greeted him in passing, and he smiled and waved from his line a few lanes away from me.

His wife, Sue, joined him in line a moment later.  I waved to her.  She also used to work for the same company, but different location.  I hadn't seen her in forever.  She smiled, but it wasn't until her husband explained who I was that she made the connection.  My items were being scanned by my checker, Deb.  Sue was now still in line in her lane a few rows over from me.  We were on an angle.  Sue and I with my checker Deb between us.  As Deb faced my cart to scan a few large items, Sue called over to me, 'You look amazing!'  Not sure that this would be a typical reaction for the way I looked but I suspect that Sue hadn't laid eyes on me since I was pregnant with a ten pound baby or something.  I must admit, I am rocking an awesome, savage tan at the moment, so I'm assuming I was pale the last time Sue laid eyes on me.  I hadn't even bothered with my hair.  Allowed it to air dry while I cleaned house, and soaked up some sun on the deck.  (My reward for cleaning the house - kitchen floor scrubbing on my hands and knees, yes, reward well deserved).  My wardrobe selection was nothing noteworthy either.  No makeup, flat hair, old shorts, and an even older workout t-shirt.  Bland at best.  Makes me think I really looked crappy back in the day.  Nowadays I workout a ton since I can leave my children home, and no one calls children and family services (usually).  Back in my pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and post pregnancy days, I did always exercise . . . . . at least whenever possible.  I either pushed a stroller or ventured out for a 30 minute walk when I could grab 30  minutes alone. 

Anyway, Sue is paying me a compliment from across Costco.  The checker Deb is in the line of fire of this particular compliment.  She grabbed the 'You look amazing!' right out of midair and swallowed it up, drank it in, bathed in it.  Awkward.  'Thanks!' she hollered back at Sue, squinting at her trying to see if she knew her outside of the grocery checkout.  What was I to do?  I wasn't about to tap Deb on the shoulder and explain that I knew the woman.  I didn't want to rudely point out that I was pretty sure she was directing the compliments at me.  To be honest, I was pretty shocked someone would classify me as 'amazing' right at that particular moment.  I nodded at Sue, mouthed a word of thanks with a look of shock and confusion, because Deb's interception made me ponder how to play this.  I couldn't ignore Sue.  She continued to talk to me after the 'amazing' thing.  Was I going to look away, and act like I didn't know her, so Deb could continue down a fake memory lane with her?  I believe Deb asked Sue, 'Do I know you?', but Sue was not at all focused on Deb and was completely unaware that she had caused this embarrassing misunderstanding.  Sue called out to me, 'How is everything?  How are the kids?'  That was when Deb did a nosedive into the cart.  I should have checked my receipt.  Maybe she was scanning things twice while she flailed around in my cart trying to look like she hadn't just caught Sue's comments and mistook them for her own.  Beyond awkward.  I pretended that I hadn't noticed Deb's compliment interception.  Tried to save her any additional embarrassment.  I attempted to focus on what Sue was asking me, so I could respond without letting her think that I was amazing, but daft. 

Of course an ego boosting moment like this isn't directed at me that often.  Figures that the whole time 'it' was happening, I was distracted by the confusion caused by the bad angle and the misplacement of Deb.  I didn't get to bask in it for long, but I probably didn't deserve it much either.

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