So, I went to the grocery store yesterday and had a shocking experience.
Usually, the cashier says something to the effect of, "Did you find everything alright?" and after that, asks how my day is going. I try to be pleasant (after all, they're told to say the same thing to every customer, so I can't totally blame them for the monotone, lack of eye contact, and noticeable lack of interest in my response to their queries... but I digress) and tend to ask the cashier how her day is going. This trip was no different, but instead of the polite, "fine/good/okay" or even the impolite but common, "just counting the hours until I get off," I received the following monologue:
"Horrible. I have the worst cramps in the world. I've never had cramps this bad before in my life. It was so bad that I was just crying a little bit ago. I don't know what to take because I've never experienced cramps like this before! At least, my boyfriend is going to stay up until I get off work at 11 to take care of me. He usually goes to bed before I get home, but he's staying up just for me. <swiping my ranch dressing> My nephew loves Ranch! He'll put a whole bottle on a tiny bit of salad if you don't watch him. He's seven, and my niece is nine. She's turning ten in June, but I'm going to miss her birthday because they're moving to Colorado next week. I'm hoping to see them before they move. I keep asking my brother to let me watch them while they load the truck but he hasn't said anything about it. Here's your receipt. Have a nice day."
Later, I told Gabe in anything-but-dulcet tones that I would have liked to have said, "I don't want to hear about your cramps!" Is there no delicacy left in America? I was absolutely flabbergasted and didn't know what to say (not that I could get a word in edgewise anyway!). I was appalled even more that she talked about this not in a conspirational whisper, but in a loud voice for the whole world to hear... especially the BOY who was bagging my groceries as she spoke! A whisper only for my ears would have been bad enough, but to speak about it so loudly that the person behind me in line, the bagger, the cashier a row over and her customer and bagger could hear it... I was floored. Anyone with an ounce of awareness would have noticed that I was looking all around in embarrassment. I kept thinking, "her manager is going to walk up and give her the what-for any minute!" I don't know why I am shocked by these things, but I am.
As I was mulling this over on the way home, I remembered a funny story about how I learned that you don't talk about your "cramps" to the general public. I wonder if my mom remembers? Ha. I won't share it here, but suffice it to say that my mom taught me to be a lady in this area at least, and I am glad that she did! I feel sorry for this girl because it's apparent that her mother was negligent in that portion of her upbringing.
Aaaaand, the moral of the story is, please do not tell me when you are experiencing any type of female discomfort. My sensibilities simply cannot handle it.