Thursday, March 06, 2008

I May Be Dumb, But I'm Slow

That's just something us Younces say when we've done or said something stupid, or encountered someone we are unimpressed with.

It was a typical Thursday morning for us. The girls and I have music class at 10:30 and we leave about 9:30 so Ginger can get a morning nap in the stroller and wake up when class starts. It's only a few blocks away but if I let Hazel walk and dawdle as much as she likes it can take an hour. If I make her hurry we can get a few errands in.

First we stopped at the cleaners - dropped off and picked up Ed's shirts, laid them across the top of the stroller. Next the grocery store for a few essentials - yogurt, goldfish, bananas, carrots. Nothing too heavy because these go in a tote bag over my shoulder until we get home. Then we had about 20 minutes until class only a block away. Oh, well, I guess we had to go across the street for a cupcake.

Little Cupcake
is this super cute bakery, with cases full of colorful, frostingly endowed treats and counters lined with dome-covered 4-layer cakes. It also has a full line of gourmet coffee, tea and muffins. And in the summer? Fresh lemonade. The shop girls wear pink t-shirts, pink aprons and pink hair kerchiefs. Ed gave me a $20 gift card in my Christmas stocking and I have been whittling away at it, usually on Thursday mornings.

Hazel and I picked out our cupcakes (strawberry for her, lemon for me), and a mini cheesecake to take home for Ed. They don't have their gift cards computerized with the cash register, so they keep a paper list of gift cards by number, and manually record how much is left on each one. The girl looked up my gift card on the list, then she asked her co-worker where the calculator was. Neither girl could find it. Meanwhile the line behind me grew. It was only then that I looked at the cash register and saw that my total was $7 even. I looked down at the paper and saw that my former balance was $16.50. Calculator? Giving up on finding it, the girl gave a loud sigh and hunched over to write out the equation:

16.50 - 7 =

Then she lifted her pen and looked up at the ceiling, concentrating. I took note that it was daytime and public schools were in session so she must be at least out of high school. I considered biting my tongue and actually waiting to see how long it would take her to figure the math out, but I went ahead, "It's $9.50."

"Really?" she said. "Are you sure?"

Am I sure? Suddenly I wasn't. Did I do that wrong? Could I still trust my mind to do automatic arithmetic? Could I trust my own knowledge of the properties of 9 better than hers? Uh, YES.

"It's $9.50."

"Ok, if you say so."

Luckily there's a job for someone like her. Luckily I'm not the dumbest person I've ever met, like I sometimes feel. Luckily she wasn't bothered by the fact that such a simple equation was baffling. Luckily this gave me something to think about today besides the breeding patterns of dirty dishes in my sink and the triple pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded. And most luckily of all, my lemon cupcake was awesome.


SuperGabers - The Mom said...

LMAO! Oh Kari. You kill me!

I'm the same way. I always second-guess myself, because what if I was "wrong" initially? I don't want people to think they are smarter than I, let alone better than I, (that's why I love a trip to the local Walmart... it always builds me up!) especially some "cupcake" behind a counter who needs a calculator for a simple math problem. It's not like you were asking her for the circumference of the cupcake!

So what I have learned, is, don't second guess yourself. You are always right, even when the math may not add up. I mean, you're KARI for heck's sake! We celebrate your birthday all month long!

kat said...

with all the gadgets we have to do everything for us - calculators, spell check - i wonder how long until we forget how to walk!

i second the above: you're kari, so just assume you're right from the get go.

i keep wondering when you're going to dish on christian winning project runway, and then i think, he was such an obvious choice what else is there to say? i can't believe that punk is only 21! i think at 21 i had 3 years of clerk/editorial assistant, with a semester of ice cream retailer experience under my belt.

Mia said...

This story just cracks me up! I would have used my fingers ;) but at least I could have done the math without a calculator! I think we all second guess ourselves sometimes. I will agree with those two, your Kari! Let everyone else do the second guessing ;)

Geary said...


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