On Saturday my sister and I went to BabiesRUs to register for her upcoming shower, and the woman helping her looked at me and said, "You're the grandmother, of course." I said, with what my sister says was a horrified look, "No, I'm her sister." This wasn't enough to deter the woman from further comment - "How many years are there between you two anyway?" was her next incredulous question. "Ten." Okay, enough for now, but not for long. A few minutes later, she commented that, of course my kids would all be grown and gone by now as she spoke of some new gadget that I wouldn't know about. I said, "No, he's two." "Really?" Yes, really.
My lovely sister just kept muttering under her breath, "I'm so sorry." Later she claimed that the woman was clearly developmentally challenged based on a couple criteria that I can't argue with too vehemently:
- Having clearly shaken me, she did not know to change the subject.
- Being in the service industry, she didn't have the foresight to butter up the customer. (What mother, whether plausible or not, wouldn't love to be asked if she were a sister?)
I should point out that the resemblance between us really is striking. People must know we're related. I should also point out that my sister could probably pass for about 20. She still finds this annoying, especially now that people glare at her belly thinking that she's way too young (not that it would be up to them), but I've told her repeatedly that it's a blessing.
Could I have a 20-year-old daughter? Sure. Could my son be my grandson? Sure. Could I have a 31-year-old daughter? Um, no. Ew.
I've had very slight vindication. Tuesday I stopped, on my way to book club, to pick up a new CD player for his majesty (someone I know is becoming more demanding), who likes to listen to music as he goes to sleep. As the gentleman was checking my ID with my credit card, he started to pull it away to see it. This gentleman was easily 15 years older than me, so I said, "Yes - once you turn 40, you need more light and longer arms, right?" Another woman, probably a little younger than me, got kind of salty. She said, "What do you know about it? What are you - 32?" I told her that she had no idea what she'd just done for me and that, in return, I would refrain from kissing her. I did, but just barely.