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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How Old Does She Think I Am?

Last Wednesday, on the way home from my day job, I decided to take advantage of an accumulation of loyalty points and stop at a supermarket, to redeem some of them. It was my turn to buy toilet paper, for the house. Toilet paper is one of those items I can't get free, at work. With a family size pack running about £4, it seemed like the ideal time to cash in some points.
I stopped in the Sainsbury's in Camberley, before catching the train home. Spotting some vegetables marked down, I added some impulse items to my basket. When I was ready to check out, I was faced with one of those supermarket dilemmas. To my left was a very attractive, "black" female cashier, with no one in line. To my right, an ugly, "white," female cashier, equally idle. Which cashier should I choose? Cheekily, I asked the "black" gal, "which one of you should I go to?" Unimpressed, she suggested that I use the other woman. Despite her advice, I started putting my purchases on the "black" woman's conveyor belt. I had overcome a moment's hesitation, when the thought occurred to me that the ugly woman might be the better cashier. When it comes to picking checkout queues, beauty usually wins out, with me. If I must stand in a queue, I might as well have a pretty face to look at. I would come to regret my decision.
I'd found a real bargain in toilet paper. I selected a package of Sainsbury's own brand, which was sixteen rolls for the price of twelve. This was the largest package of loo roll I had ever purchased and me without a car. Fortunately, it came with a built-in handle. With my other purchases in a carrier bag and having saved £7.50 off a total bill of just over £8, I walked to the Camberley train station. I'd messed up my timing and just missed the train to Ascot. That left me with almost thirty minutes to wait for the next one. Sitting down to pass the time, I happened to start reviewing the receipt from my shopping. I have a tendency to look over my receipts from supermarkets, to check that I haven't been over-charged. Usually everything is fine, but this time, it wasn't. The pretty cashier had overcharged me by thirty pence! I contemplated going back. It would be a pain in the ass to walk back, with the things I was carrying: my black shoulder bag, my package of sixteen loo rolls, and my carrier bag of impulse purchases. Still, I had time to kill and I hate losing money unnecessarily. As I walked back to the store, it occurred to me that the ugly woman probably wouldn't have made the mistake. A lot of ugly women are good at their jobs, because they can't just coast through on their looks.
I managed to get my thirty pence back and still catch the next train to Ascot. Once in Ascot, I changed platforms and caught the first train towards Reading; a necessary step, if one is going to Bracknell. After arriving in Bracknell, I decided that I'd had enough of schlepping with all the things I was carrying. I decided to treat myself to a bus ride home, rather than the half-an-hour walk. When the 194 arrived at the bus station, it was a double-decker. I didn't feel like struggling with all my stuff to the upper deck, especially as I was only going three stops. However, because I was one of the last people on the bus, there were no more easily accessible seats on the lower level. I resigned myself to parking my packages in the area provided for luggage and stand. As the bus started off, a lovely, oriental, young woman, seated in the single seat nearest to me, asked if I wanted to sit down. Even though I said, "no," she got up anyway. I figured she must be getting off soon, so I took the vacated seat.
It felt good to be seated. I eyed my benefactor and she smiled at me, when we made eye contact. She was short and looked a little like Lucy Liu, only with a slightly darker complexion. As I sat looking her over, thinking she's somewhat attractive, I tried to decide what Asian country she might be from. She looked Chinese, but with the tanned coloring that is common amongst Thais and Nepalese. As I was enjoying the view of her long, dark hair, we passed the first couple of stops without her getting off. It suddenly occurred to me that she hadn't gotten up because she was getting off. She had deliberately vacated the seat so I could have it, like one would do for an elderly person. Looking at her and estimating her age to be in her early twenties, I thought, "how old does she think I am?" Here I had been, fantasizing over her, sexually, and she'd been treating me like an old age pensioner! The pleasure of getting to sit had turned into a sour taste in my mouth. I'm not even fifty yet, for Pete's sake!
The bus approached my stop, so I signaled that I wanted to get off. As I gathered my things, I noted that the young woman was still on board. Well, at least she could have the seat back. I slipped out the door, leaving my little, oriental fortune cookie on board. Oh, the humiliation! She thinks I am an old man. I walked home from the bus stop, with my bags, sixteen rolls of toilet paper, and my bruised pride. Should I stoop to coloring my hair to hide the grey? What price vanity?

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4 Comments:

Blogger © Karelian Blonde said...

Quote from you:"I never realized you were "relationship phobic," before. I just thought you were a lesbian. I've gone through the trouble of posting several new blogs, for you and your office mates, but I've not heard a peep out of you."

You obiously don't read my blog because you thought I was a lesbian *shaking my head*. And I believe you don't blog just because of the girls here in the office.

We work in the City and these strange times we really don't have time for merriment with the unsure financial atmosphere. Life is a bitch and then you die :)

P.S Don't colour you hair, that would be a girly thing to do.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Naive London Girl said...

If you were wearing your blue knit cap, you probably did look like an old man. Time for a new hat. It's hardly flattering.

3:10 PM  
Blogger JosephintheBracknell said...

Karelian, I have been spending so much less time in teh blogosphere than I used to. I do read it, from time to time, which is how I found out you were "relationship phobic."

Something about your photo and some of the stuff you've written before, just gave me a lesbianic vibe. No that there's anything wrong with that. I am quite pleased to have some lesbian readers, on Myspace.

While I don't just write for the girls in your office, the revelation that they missed my writting did motivate me to make that extra effort, recently, and post some new stuff.

12:16 PM  
Blogger JosephintheBracknell said...

Anjelika, I didn't have that hat on, as it wasn't that cold. Besides, it's black, no blue. I only where it when it's very cold and it's for warmth, not fashion. It's because I didn't have my hat on that she may have noticed my grey hair.

12:18 PM  

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