Every now and then I feel old. Not physically old, as in arthritis and bursitis, but more a mental state of mind. I get glimpses of future Grandma Burdie, wearing support hose under my elastic waist shorts, sticking tissues up my sleeves and having my signature red lipstick migrating into the big old wrinkles around my mouth. I see the future and it ain't gonna be pretty.
Before leaving the beach, I had to make an emergency run to CVS for some, er, necessities. Lulu, my oldest daughter and the Sound portion of my travelling Sound and Fury offspring sideshow, asked to make this run with me. Having a $5 bill in my hand, I was glad to see my necessities were only around $2.50 and I wouldn't have to break out the debit card. Lulu, while waiting in line with me to check out, asked if she could get her a "little something" from the candy display. Being well versed in Lulu's standard MO, which is making me purchase a few seconds of mother daughter bonding with a "little something", I told her yes, because I am enjoying the small purchase price of her love now, realizing it will escalate exponentially once the teenage years hit.
She grabbed a pack and gum and tossed it up on the counter with my necessities. The cashier rang my purchases up & the total came to $8.49. Even given Dare County's 85% or thereabouts sales tax, I should still have come in well under the $5 limit. When I looked at the screen, I saw that my darling, angelic child had opted for a $4.97 pack of gum. GUM! Once the initial shock wore off, I opened my mouth to say something and was surprised by the future Grandma Burdie tirade that fell out of my mouth. "$5 for a pack of gum? What's it got, gold in there? For that price they need to whiten my teeth, freshen my breath and do my taxes. $5? For that price it needs to last longer than Dick Clark's career!" I may have even thrown in a line about "in my day" and quite possibly "fixed income". I went on so long about the blatant usury that the poor cashier, eying the line growing longer by the minute behind me and wishing to expedite the transaction ASAP, offered to void the gum and let Lulu pick another choice.
Lulu quickly opted for another pack of gum, one that I didn't have to get a second mortgage on the house to afford. I hastily handed over my $5. And the remnants of my youth.