My First Face Palm Moment18 March, 2009
Today I got to go to work in mufti, which is good. I spent the entire day in planning meetings, which is excruciating. On the way home, I stopped at Wegmans to pick up thick sliced corned beef, fresh sauerkraut (kinda like jumbo shrimp), some good Swiss cheese, and some really good marbled rye baked from the in-store bakery. I’m looking forward to a really good Reuben. But that’s not the point of this post.
While walking from the deli to the bakery, I noticed that I was being watched. A little girl was staring at me. Cute as a button: blond hair in braids over the top of her head, pink cheeks, Little House on the Prairie dress. Basically, a pre-pubescent prairie muffin. I caught myself stereotyping her and her father as right wing religious types. Bad (((Billy))).
She continued to stare at me as long as I was in view. I checked the sushi, but no veggie rolls for (((Girl))), so then to the checkout.
All my goods were on the belt, and, lo and behold, the little girl and her dad got in line behind me. I could hear her talking to her daddy.
“Is he, Daddy?” she asked. “Do you think he is? Huh? Do you?”
Daddy smiled. “Well, honey, you could be polite and ask him.”
“Okay.” She turned to me. “Excuse me, sir? Are you a cowboy?”
I smiled. There I stood in my faded jeans, wide leather belt with a turquoise and wood inlay belt buckle, a western-style shirt, straw Stetson, and a circle beard, so I could understand the question (that hat (well, that style of hat) has garnered some strange comments over the years). “No. I’m a ranger.”
Her face flushed. Her eyes goggled. Her jaw dropped. Then, in a voice dripping with awe, said, “Wow. I really . . . . Wow.”
Daddy came to her rescue. “Our whole family just loves Chuck Norris, so meeting a real ranger, well . . . .”
I kept my smile. Okay, so my stereotype was right on. “No. I’m a little different. I’m one of those liberal tree-hugging park rangers.” I didn’t even have to add that I’m an atheist to get a perfect reaction.
Daddy’s smile turned to a full-face frown. “Oh.” he said. Then he grabbed his little meadow muffin by the shoulder, turned her around, and the two of them went to a longer line. Behind a little old lady with a full cart and a large hand full of coupons.
I carefully removed my glasses and performed a perfect face palm.
And people wonder why I wear a cowboy hat.