I did it just the other day in the Apple store. I was looking for somewhere to pay for a goddamned thing. They don’t seem to have registers in this particular store I was in. I was helped by some dude to find the one thing I needed, and then he ambled away. I went up to the “Genius” “Bar” and asked the “Genius” how I could pay for something. Another customer asked me if I was doing what he thought I was doing, because he was trying to do the same thing. The Genius stared at me a hard second. I had interrupted what he was doing, no doubt, like a rube. He asked if that would be cash or credit.
That’s when I blushed. “I’ll pay any way I can,” I said, with a chuckle. “This store is too slick for me.” I said it calmly enough, but the five men–both Geniuses, the guys they were helping, and the other customer–all staring at me made me blush slightly. I hate it when that happens. Skelly thinks it’s attractive when a woman blushes, and she hates it when she wastes it on someone undeserving.
Genius explained that the Ambling Salesman could have taken my credit card. Other Customer fetched Another Salesman and actually sent him to me first, so I guess the blush wasn’t wasted. I told Other Customer he was sweet. I did take my turn first, though. I won’t get my Young Lady Advantage® for that much longer, and I still get the 60% pay differential. I’ll then have to wait until I’m old enough to get the Reminds Young Men of Their Mothers™ help in stores. I think that starts in your fifties. Moms gets that, and really plays up her helplessness without shame. I do wear red lipstick and show my tattoo at the car wash and the hardware store (the carpenter ex used to send me as a decoy into Home Depot, because I could get help in nanoseconds and no one would ever help him), though, so I can’t hate.
I don’t like to think I embarrass that easily. It’s haphazard. I do remember a funny, relatively recent one. I wasn’t mortified, but it was the most pure embarrassment without consequences I can remember. It was social awkwardness and without full-on humiliation, and it was limited to only the situation at hand. No one got hurt, and it didn’t rub off on anyone else. All the other ones involved other people getting embarrassed, like family members and stuff, or bodily fluids. Your ol’ pal Seer used to drink, you know. This is just hang your head and let your ears turn red.
I was the maid of honor for The Shadow Fairy’s wedding. I had to do the bridal shower, Jack and Jill (that means dudes and chicks), and I had a lot of anxiety about it. Would I do a good job? Would people show?
I was having a hard time getting people to RSVP, despite the self-addressed, stamped postcards I had included in the goddamned invitations. Someone even told me they had my postcard on her fridge. Just leave it out for the fucking mailman. Jesus.
I got a call from someone one day about the party. She was talking really quietly. I didn’t catch her name even. I asked her to repeat it and I still didn’t catch it. She said she couldn’t make it to the party, and then she either said:
“My husband and I,”
“My husband is dying.“
She sounded so sad! And she had already said “we” a bunch of times. Wouldn’t it be understood that it was both of them that she was calling for? Seer only had a split second to respond, so I said,
“I’ll pray for you.”
After which she got off the phone in about two seconds. So I guess she had said the former, and not the latter. Oh, Seer, you idiot.
So the running joke for years whenever anyone couldn’t do something was to say that you’d pray for them. Can’t go to someone’s house? Pray for them. Can’t open that Coke? Pray for them. Can’t tolerate lactose? Pray for them.
I never did figure out who it was who had called me. I’m sure she knew who I was at the wedding. I was the freak who prays for the fool who can’t make it to my party.