I’m sure you all know how it is that, despite all outward evidence to the contrary, you feel exactly the same inside as you did when you were 20. The only difference, as far as I can tell from the inside, is that I’m not asked for identification any longer when I try to buy a drink in a pub. I was well into my twenties before I was able to buy alcohol without being challenged. Not that I get much opportunity to buy drinks in pubs these days, of course.
How times change. There I was the other day, idly browsing in a phone shop with GP2 (my mobile has packed up) whilst his older brother was next door in the Disney shop (yes, really) looking to spend money he didn’t have on a present for the girl who isn’t his girlfriend. She is a lovely girl, this girl who is NOT his girlfriend and I suspect she was the cause of an unexplained emotional upset, private teenage angst, during the summer. Anyhow, the Disney shop proved too expensive for someone with no money but we found some nice pashmina-things at a market stall along the road.
But I digress. There we were, in the phone shop, minding our own business, when we were accosted by one of the sales girls. In phone shops, it seems, they can’t leave you to get on with it. They have to interfere.
“Can I help you?” she said.
“No thanks, we’re just looking.”
“Who is the phone for? Is it for yourself or is it for your… nephew? No sorry I mean your grandson.”
“It’s for me. And this is not my grandson. It’s my son” as icily as I could muster. And thought “Well, that’s one sale you didn’t have that you’ve most definitely lost.”
We stomped outside and giggled. The boys decided that really it wasn’t polite to say “grandson”, whatever the evidence. Take the moral high ground and say “son” as then you’ve got “Surely you’re not old enough to have grandchildren” in hand. I have to say I agree.
Back to the girl. Make that “girls”.
He disappeared for a moment and game back with a second shawl. GP2 and I raised our eyebrows and looked at each other. Could there be a girlfriend who really was a girlfriend? There was clearly something serious afoot as he skeetered off into Thorntons to buy chocolate teddy bears with yet more non-existent money. It seemed that this one merited more than just a shawl – this from the boy whose approach to presents for the family is to head into the nearest retail emporium and buy the first thing his eye lights upon. No pondering and endless deliberation. Christmas shopping is done in moments as far as family is concerned. It appears, though, that a different strategy is required for girls. One requiring thought. This, I feel, can only be a good thing.
Sadly, though, the girl who is not his girlfriend is still not his girlfriend. It’s good, we say, that you can have a best friend of the opposite sex with no strings attached. And the girl who might have been his girlfriend was only his girlfriend for the briefest of interludes. She dumped him the day after he went Christmas shopping – that affair lasted a whole week, we think. He doesn’t seem too bothered though, and intends to eat the chocolate he bought for her with one of his mates. I’m not too sure what his plans are for the pashmina. And he’s still broke.
Photo credit: uniquelymoronic
Ouch! Asking someone about the child they’re with in a way that assumes that he/she is their grandchild is as bad as asking someone with a tummy “when is it due?” Both are to be avoided at all costs.
Funny how it’s always younger people who make the mistake. Their turn will come…
It’s none of her business who the phone’s for anyway, even if she IS a sales person. If you were buying incontinence pads wd she ask you if they were for you or someone else, and were you sure you had the right size? If buying condoms wd she ask if you were sure you wanted strawberry flavour, & wdn’t you like to try the ribbed ones?… Or maybe they wd….. I think it’s an example of our culture becoming so regulated & legislated that no one gives us the opportunity to think for ourselves or make our own choices. Heaven forbid!
Apart from all that, what an idiot, had the girl had no customer service training at all?
Thanks ladies, I knew I’d get some sympathy here. Still feeling a little sensitive at my hair going grey all at once, at the same time as acquiring an old lady’s perm so that I get blanked by all sorts when out of context! But I’m having a good laugh at the thought of choosing incontinence pads 🙂
Oh, why are people so insensitive? How horrid. Your son sounds a nice lad. Hope all goes well with she who is not his girlfriend.
It’s the downside (is there only one?) of being an older mum, I fear! Meanwhile, oldest son goes all gooey-eyed when we talk about She Who Is NOT His Girlfriend. Unfortunately she has a real boyfriend who has no time for oldest son. He can’t cope with SWINHG and oldest son being best friends, apparently. Confused?