Still here, still pondering the laundry, doing my launderponder.
Soon after we moved back to Germany from California I blogged about the challenges of grocery shopping here v. there. Nearly a year later I continue to admire the Germans for perfecting the art of the unpleasant shopping experience but at least in my own little town I enjoy a 'regular' status at the local Tengelmann and occassionally someone smiles at me.
I take the kids shopping when I just need a couple of things and on a good day nothing too horrible or embarassing occurs. But last week L completely disappeared at the check out counter!
I had asked her to put some Tic Tacs back on the shelf next to the check out stand but she went running back through the store instead. I looked away for maybe a minute and she was gone. I called, no answer.
I looked around at the other shoppers - I mean, someone must have seen her, she was right there a minute ago - but they were all too busy acting out their respective demographic behavioral stereotypes to offer any clue as to my child's whereabouts:
Older men: stern demeaner, no eye contact
Women of all ages: glaring at me for losing my child but uninterested in helping me find her
One younger guy doing his own shopping: a cheery smile (German men under 30 tend to be fairly sunny)
Leaving my stuff on the belt I raced through the store with K calling my child's name.
No worries, she was in fact in the back of the store and all was well. We trooped back to the teenage cashier, who was nice enough about our sudden egress and only sighed once.
The other shoppers looked a bit put out but my kid had wandered off so I wasn't feeling too bad about making them wait. Actually, I was feeling kind of self-righteous about making them wait since I had been worried and they were all so unhelpful.
But there was more to come. I was handing over my cash card when K (who had not yet embarassed me and was ticking like a bomb) suddenly pointed at the cashier and halloood, 'MOMMY WHY DOES SHE HAVE SO MANY RED SPOTS ON HER FACE? ARE THEY PIMPLES???'. It was like she was trying to be heard across a vast chasm.
The poor spotty cashier had done nothing deserve that. Why couldn't K yell something like, 'Why does that woman behind us look like she just ate a lemon???' That's what I would have yelled. But we mustn't live vicariously through our children.
Moral highground lost, I paid, said thank you and escaped with my tactless offspring.