After a certain age, women are ignored as if they don’t exist. We could tap dance through a crowded room wearing lighted clown noses with a tray of free martinis on our heads while singing an Italian opera, but no one would notice. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Sales clerks, young coworkers, and several relatives refuse to acknowledge us. After being ignored by waiters, we’re often tempted to march into the kitchen at a restaurant, dish up whatever is cooking on the stove, and bring it to our table. Then we could leave money on the table and tip ourselves before we left.
One time, my friend Nancy and I experienced a frustrating time trying to get the attention of a sales clerk as we patiently waited to return a purchase. We needed to exchange the bling-covered, thigh-high boots we bought in a moment of unbridled foolishness. There may have been alcohol involved.
“If this line takes any longer, I’ll have to chew these boots for my dinner,” Nancy said.
“I think the warranty just expired on my new tires,” I responded.
“Oh, look! I think the sales clerk just noticed us and gave a faint smile.”
Then a young tart with a plastic face and noisy bangles came skittering up on her six-inch heels, shoved her assets in front of us, and received immediate attention from the animated sales staff. After being ignored, we suddenly disregarded our childhood instructions to be people-pleasers. We began to channel their dormant inner sorcerer. We may have briefly levitated.
“We could curse her until she spontaneously bursts into flames,” I said.
“No, if we have that much power, let’s turn her older than we are,” snarled Nancy.
Nancy felt emboldened and moved closer to the counter. “You must be so much more important than I am,” she said. “My mama told me not to be pushy like you, so I’ll just continue to wait here looking at your imperfect backside.” She added a toothy smile, raised her eyebrows, and tilted her head ever so slightly.
The intruder felt the glare of angry eyes on the back of her well-styled hairdo and turned around. Sensing a pack of wild women who were hungry, breathing their last breath of tolerance, and in desperate need of a bathroom, she stammered an apology and slinked away before the sales clerk could call for security.
Nancy and I high-fived like silly school girls and pushed toward the counter. We managed to return the boots and have time to relax at a nearby restaurant. We were delighted when a handsome young waiter rushed over, obviously excited to greet us. Maybe we weren’t invisible or irrelevant, after all!
“You look just like my grandmother!” he gushed. “She died last year.”
We ordered and enjoyed two glasses of wine, tipped the waiter and patted him on the head like a good boy, and went shopping for bling-covered, thigh-high boots.