Attention Best Buy Shoppers
All these years, and I still don't like my eyes. Silly squinchy grayish-blue things. Mind you, a good portion of the squinch probably has just as much to do with my nearsightedness as it has to do with the genetics of small eyes, but, nevertheless, part of me wishes I'd been born with eyes that didn't practically shut themselves of their own volition every time I decide to crack a smile.
Maybe it's not right to judge someone by their laugh lines, but if someone in their early thirties has already smiled enough that the laugh lines are permanent, chances are, they're someone I should know.
I have a few years yet; I turn twenty-six this month.
This weekend we celebrated birthdays with Jeff's family. It's hard to forget the look of astonishment on Jeff's mother's face when I told her the date of my birthday. She asked me to repeat the date again, just to be certain. She had trouble believing that it was that…perfect. Jeff's birthday was the 16th. His younger sister Lori's birthday was the 18th.
Mine? The 20th.
I fall right between them in age; Jeff is two years older than me, and Lori two years younger.
As a result, we have one big birthday bash for the three of us. (It's worth noting that Lori's husband was born in December. We've threatened to arbitrarily change his birthday to October 22. Strangely enough, he doesn't seem interested in us doing that.)
This year, Lori gave me a gift card to Best Buy. I've left it on the counter for the past few days, letting it burn a twitchy little hole in my brain while I figured out what I wanted to do with it. Tonight, when Jeff asked me to hold off watching tonight's new Buffy episode for a little while, I made up my mind: a DVD copy of The Princess and the Warrior.
I sneaked into Best Buy thirty minutes before closing, and spent a few minutes ambling through the DVD racks with the DVD in hand, "just to be sure." After all, there are few things more pleasant than the gleeful feeling of walking through an electronics store, whispering to yourself, "I could buy this…but I'm not going to…not because I can't afford it, but I just don't want to!"
I reached the cashier, and handed him the DVD and gift card. He looked at it and said, "Birthday?"
I nodded. "Not today, but soon. They gave it to me ahead of time because they wouldn't get to see me on the actual day."
The DVD cost just a little more than what my card had on it, so I swiped my debit card to pay for the rest. He asked to see my ID. I flipped open my billfold and showed him my driver's license. "And you can see that it's really going to be my birthday soon, too," I joked.
He smiled, raised a finger to say Just a minute…, and picked up the phone. He dialed a few buttons, grinned mischievously, and said, "Attention, Best Buy shoppers - " (at this point I start turning red) " - happy birthday, Amy!"
(at this point I'm squinchy-eyed and giggling)
The man in line behind me wished me a happy birthday. I think I remembered to grab my receipt before running out of the store, embarrassed, giggling, and tickled all at the same time.
I like to think of laugh lines as a permanent compilation of all the reasons a person's had to laugh over a lifetime. I'm a little closer to getting mine.