Old People Buying Cakes in the Supermarket Bakery

The woman was in front of me on the bakery line at the supermarket. She was with a man who I assumed was her husband because he was old too.  She was deeply engaged with the bakery salesgirl.

“It needs to be fresh,” she said. “We might have company this week-end.”

“Taste this cupcake,” said the bakery salesgirl as she offered a chocolate cupcake. “It’s got the same inside as the cake.”

The elderly woman broke off a piece of the cupcake and shared it with her companion. The bakery salesgirl smiled at me, because she knew I was patiently waiting to buy my usual two biscotti while the couple were making their decision.

The old woman’s hair had once been layered and colored. Now, its coarse clumps, tangled in dull shades of orange, yellow and gray, lay wherever they had settled when she got out of bed that morning.

She reminded me of the older women who get wheeled into the beauty salon by their children or their care givers because someone thinks a color, a cut and a blow will be just what they need.   Often, it is difficult for them to maneuver into a comfortable position to have their shampoo. I wish that beauty salons had special seats (maybe some do) for elderly arthritic people who need someone else to maintain their hair.

“Mmm, delicious,” she said after tasting the cupcake.  “I’ll take the whole cake.  Thank you so much. You have been so kind.”

As their cake was boxed and tied, I waited in line behind the couple. I’m old, but they were older.

Her hunched shoulders were hidden in the worn collar of what my mother used to call a “spring coat.” It was made of some kind of black wool and they were a few loose threads that stuck out oddly. The pills and naps in it told me that, if it could talk, the coat might have great stories to tell, perhaps about the forties.

I don’t know. It was just a coat worn by an old woman who was with an old man.  They were buying a cake, in case they got some company that weekend.

I hope they did.

Attention: Short Supermarket Shoppers! We Must Unite!

Yesterday, another short woman and I rescued one of our own.  She was trying to step on the frame of her shopping cart so she could reach up to the top shelf in the pickle and olive jar aisle. She wanted a super large jar of green stuffed olives, the economical jar the stores always put on the stratosphere shelf.  Short people, like us, can never get, let alone see items like that.

Uh oh! Her cart was slipping as she stepped on it!

I screamed, “Wait!”  Then, bracing her shopping cart against the shelves with my body, I held it in place while she tried again. No success. She did not want to drop the olive jar on my head, and she needed her two arms for her ascent and grab.

Time to reconnoiter.  Where are the tall people when you need them? We needed reinforcements.

Another short woman was meandering down the aisle, blissfully unaware of the situation.

Pressing  her into service, I commanded, “I’ll hold the cart. You grab her stuff!”

I held the cart. The olive lady climbed with one hand, got her jar of olives with  other hand,  and handed it  off to the short receiver waiting for the catch.

Victory! We embraced.

Sisters of Shortness, We Must Unite! (Short men are welcome too. Ha Ha. Fat Chance!)