I had the glorious enjoyment of grocery shopping without the children today. (It's like a day at the spa. Since I've never actually had a day at the spa, it's what I envision.)
I chose the checkout lane I usually choose, since the kid behind the counter has come to recognize me. (I call him a kid because I'm in my thirties now. It's a privilege that comes with the new decade.) He knows the boys, he knows I want my milk (and everything else) in a bag, he knows plastic is fine since I left my eco-friendly bags in the car again, and his memory of such things makes my life easier.
But today, I had no small children (and thereby no monstrous racecar cart) with me, and he noticed that as well.
He said, "Wow. Kid free today. I bet that's a great feeling."
"Oh, it is. I even took my time. I didn't want the experience to pass by too quickly."
"You can even bypass the penny horse today."
"I sure can. It's straight to the car from here. And I don't think I'll even need help loading the groceries in the car. I feel like a new woman. Plus, I'm still smiling at the end of my shopping experience."
"Oh, you always smile. But this time your hair isn't messed up."
Ahem. Did he say my hair isn't messed up? As opposed to the other times I come through his lane?? Have I been so distracted by the children hanging off my cart that I didn't realize my hair had become a bird's nest somewhere near the frozen foods?
I would have expected a comment about no tantrums, no crying children, no arguments over candy, and no scrambling to find my wallet around the snacks and toys in my purse. That I would have expected. But... my hair isn't messed up??
This makes me wonder: I may not have realized how many people are in my intimate community. The people at the places I frequent: the post office, the grocery store, the bank, the doctor's office... they may be carefully noticing things about me while I'm busy entertaining and corraling the troops.
Like, you know, the relative state of my hair.
I think I'll choose a different checkout lane next time. Or swing by the bathroom for a quick once over before I check out. Or not worry about it at all, since Mr. Cashier and I can only go up from here.