One morning this week before work, I went in to a car dealership to drop off some extra bridal shower invitations with the mother of the bride, who works there. As I walked in to the showroom, one of the salesmen offered his assistance. I told him who I was there to see, and he responded, “And you’re with . . .?”
“You’re with . . .?“
Pause for a moment and realize that no one has ever said that sentence to me in my life. I am a housewife with two part-time jobs. I am so far from a corporate persona that sashaying in in a pencil skirt at 8:00 am was like playing dress up. But there I was, and he was either fooled or kind.
And his ellipsis was so polite. It said, “I dare not finish my own sentence lest I insult you. Honda Tokyo? Rolls Royce West Sussex? Fiat Turin?”
I couldn’t help but laugh (un-corporately) and confess that I’m with . . .me and Sieg Incorporated. I am here to drop off bridal invitations. Can we talk chicken salad recipes? Andrew said I should have snapped, “Corporate in Detroit and I’m here to clean house!” Anyway, it certainly gave a glow to my day that anyone would apply the beautiful preposition “with” to me, that anyone would think I could be “with” someone. I gave passing thoughts to travelling salespersons and thought of the difference between one who is a settled part of one particular little pond, and one who travels around on a smile and a promise as Arthur Miller said about his famous salesman who died.
However, all good things end. Today, Andrew chucked my mail to me and I knew before opening the envelope that wished me a happy birthday on the outside that AARP had messed up royally. While I am still firmly in my 40s – at least for 2 more days – they sent me an invite??? What are they thinking? Mom, can you believe this? The card is a garish red, as if I am already stone blind and can’t see it.
And explain to me the “R.” I will not be R-ing in the foreseeable future. One day 17 years ago, we thought it might be a good idea to have one more child to gain street cred in this town where everyone had four and we seemed like poseurs with only two. No one sat us down and said, “You know, when you do this you will have many years of multiple kids in college? I’m not saying don’t do it; I’m just saying, what’s it going to look like on paper?” Of course, it is worth every wrinkle and limp, and each child is the irreplaceable joy of our lives. But AARP is a misnomer. There is no R.
So AARP got their dates wrong and didn’t do their homework. I’ll comfort myself with that knowledge and with the fact that, doggone it,
The salesman thought I was “with” someone!