I went into an Ace Hardware Store today to kill time before picking my daughter up from an appointment. Normally a hardware store wouldn't be my first choice for a place to kill time, but the Ace Hardware in our community is more of a general store than a hardware store. They pretty much have anything you can imagine in stock. And I figured I would see what was on sale after Christmas.
Things started going sideways when I walked in and was greeted by the Ace version of a Walmart greeter. It was this nice older gentleman who looked about 20 years older than me. He greeted me with a "Good afternoon, young man, is there anything I can help you find?"
Okay, I know what it means when someone greets a senior citizen with a clever, "hello young man." It's tantamount to asking me to see my AARP card and direct me to where they stock the Depends.
But I smiled nicely, muttered I was just looking and slipped off to see what was on sale. I found a box of smart lightbulbs marked down, likely because Ace couldn't sell them to the other senior citizens who were still trying to figure out how to send a text message on their flip phones. There were the type of bulbs that you can not only ask Alexa to turn on and off, but also to change colors or dim. I snatched the last box and went off to another aisle.
I swear that at least three other sales associates asked me if I needed help. This Ace is not that big of a store but they have an army of sales associates. I was starting to get really annoyed because unless I'm in a hardware store looking for a specific part for a toilet, I pretty much want to browse on me own.
I found the tool aisle and picked up a riveting gun set I've been kind of wanting for awhile. Because you never seem to have a rivet gun when you need one and I've got a couple of guitar cases where the handles have broken off.
I made my way to the cashier dodging several more helpful sales associates. The cashier rang up my purchases and I put my debit card in the keypad. It was one of those overly sensitive ones and it kept erroring out if I even looked at the wrong button. I swear the cashier was shaking her head in pity at the poor senior citizen trying to remember their pin number. She gave me my receipt and said a bit too sweetly to me that she "hoped I had a better day." She might as well have patted me on the hand and said, "There, there dear."
I scurried out of the store to my 2006 Hyundai wishing I was driving a Dodge Charger that I could have spun out leaving the parking lot.
Why do I feel like I'm approaching that stage in life where people are trying to get me to step onto an ice flow and tell me to "Have a nice trip?"