9.12.2009

I get by with a little help...

Apparently when I am out in public alone (which is rare) I come across as a woman-in-need. In need of what I am not entirely sure. But I get "looks." When I was younger they were better looks. I do still get the occasional approving look, but mostly it's the "I feel so sorry for you that your son is screaming for fruit snacks" look. Tonight, however, I was getting odd looks. Maybe it was the glossed over expression I wore as I wandered into Ralph's grocery store at 10pm, blinded by the bright produce section and flashing smiles of a greeter and security guard. "Can we help you find something Miss?" Um...Mrs. but sure, "Where are those wipes used to wipe down the carts so we all don't contract Swine Flu or a staff infection?" "Oh, we empty those out at 9pm." Hmmm. I was asked no less than 5 times tonight if I needed help. And I'm not talking the friendly, we're asking because it's our great pleasure to do so, type of asking. People were leaning in to get a good look at me—a concerned look—and then asking. Asking as if I might start crying if they didn't ask carefully. Was I radiating the end of a stressful day? Was it pathetically obvious that I was way over-enjoying the only time I had to myself: the short ride in Wes's zippy car to the local grocery store? Maybe I was just being paranoid, but strange things were afoot at the Circle K (name that movie).

Let's back up a minute, though. When I am sporting Maya in the Baby Bjorn and trying to lift Finn into the cart at the same time, why is no one asking if I need some help? When I'm pushing the ginormous "car on the front of the cart for your toddler's pleasure" cart, and it starts rolling dangerously down the incline on which my car is parked, with Finn still inside, while I'm unloading groceries into my trunk, where is the helpful hand then? When Finn has dropped his plastic dinosaur for the umpteenth time and it's caught under the wheels of someone else's cart (Maya sill Bjorn-style), why am I the one fishing it out from between their greasy wheels while they watch with pursed lips? And the comment of choice is always, "My, you sure have your hands full!" Yep. I sure do! Now offer to help me carry my groceries out. When did that trend die out? It's hard enough for me to muster the courage to leave the house for a trip to the store with 2 unpredictable kids under 3. The least you can do is help me push my cart out the automatic door. Hurumph.

Back to this evening. I think maybe it was because they had to ask me 3 times if plastic was OK and I answered, "Yeah...no...I mean, that's fine I guess..." (because they were already bagging by then). Or possibly because I had diapers, cool whip (in the spray can), and 5 varieties of sauces from the condiment aisle, that made me vulnerable. But the nice gentleman ringing up my groceries asked twice if I needed help to my car (like I might forget where I had parked). "I'm fine, thank you!" (In my most awake/alert voice I could manage.) Then I had to wait a short minute for the lady bagging to finish sacking up my sudries. When she was done she asked me again if I need help out to my car. "No thank you! Have a good night!" (As chipper as I could be.) Then she LEANED IN and said, "Have a good night, sweetie." A very concerned look crossed her face. It even took me off guard. I mean, she might as well have patted my arm and offered to call me a cab. The security guard eyed me on the way out. It didn't help that the cart snuck away as I was returning it to its happy home. I think I saw him shake his head as he closed that side of the store up for the night.

So what is it? Do I look that exhausted? I could be slouching, I suppose. Do I need a little blush? Maybe I look peaked. But whatever it is, I'm going to try to replicate my "10pm shopping state" the next time I have Finn and Maya with me. And I'm milking it for all it's worth!

Post Edit: Ralph's is open 24-hours. So I know they weren't rushing me out. They close up one entrance at 11pm, but otherwise they are open all night.

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Christy said...

I get those looks when I'm out alone too...and I wish I got offered the same amount of help when I'm out with my little one. Hope you got a good night's sleep and are feeling refreshed today. And I bet the security guard look was in your imagination - at least I hope so!!

ps - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!

Megan said...

My only guess would be because they were about to close and everyone wanted to hurry home; so maybe they figured if they "helped" you, it would go quicker for you (i.e. send you on your way asap). Or, perhaps everyone was bored since it was the end of the night and were looking for something to do? Or, everyone on that shift happened to be all great helpful people. I'm sure you looked great! :)

{april kennedy} said...

All I can say is that I hope you did that can of whipped cream right and took a squirt to the mouth for you and then a squirt for me!

Puzzling though...hmmmm. Did you check to make sure that your skirt wasn't tucked into your underwear again?!

{april kennedy} said...

Oh....and Dave guessed Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure too!

Lyndsay said...

April--your comment made me laugh out loud. Luckily I was in pants. :P

KatieJ said...

That is funny- and also so weird! I have noticed being pregnant people seen to fall all over themselves trying to be helpful, but when you really need it, with all the kids I do just get lots of "you have your hands full don't you!" and suspicious "are they all yours?"

Tiffany M. said...

Excellent movie quote. I just have to add this one:
Mr the Kid, you are dealing with the oddity of time travel with the greatest of ease.
I think maybe people like to sit back and watch moms in action because well, you are pretty amazing.