So, this is my second most favorite T-Shirt. I wear it a lot. But you probably got that from the rather faded appearance. I like to think of it as a good-natured warning, and I happen to think it’s hilarious to watch people read it, and then look at me to see how I will respond to the fact that they have been staring at my grumpy torso. My smile usually throws them off a bit – I guess they aren’t expecting someone who claims to be “Always Grumpy” to have any interest in smiling. Truth is, grumps like me tend to have a rather warped sense of humor – on good days – and that makes us smile.
Last week, my daughter and I stopped by Wally World to pick up a few things on our way home. She hates grocery shopping, and occasionally talks me into tagging along with her to make the task more bearable. For her. While we were there, with me wearing my second most favorite T-Shirt, this actually happened:
I could tell the older gentleman queued at the far end of the soup aisle was taking in the message displayed on my shirt, but I pretended not to notice, making a point of avoiding eye contact by studiously reviewing the labels on items I had no intention of purchasing. There were several shoppers between us, pushing their carts along as they too eyed the various selections, prominently displayed on the shelves in an array of colors, sizes, and flavors. Like rush hour traffic on a busy city street, we slowly made our way; the carts on the left traveling down the aisle, while the carts on the right travelled up the aisle.
I skillfully maneuvered through the bumper-to-bumper traffic, finally pulling up next to him in the other lane, like two cars travelling to opposite ends of town. His eyes narrowed slightly as he tilted his head back a bit, “Where’d you get that shirt?” he demanded.
Glancing down briefly, as if to remind myself which fashion statement I had carefully selected before leaving home earlier, then looking up to meet his probing gaze, “At Disney,” I offered, not at all offended by the gruffness of his inquiry.
Adjusting his stance, he leaned forward slightly, gripping the handle of his loaded shopping cart as if it would keep him from toppling over as he endeavored to balance the dimensions of his noteworthy girth over his matchstick legs, “Do you really think that’s what you are?”
I could feel the smile quietly splitting my face into a grinning, “Of course,” while jerking my thumb in my daughter’s direction, “ask her.”
I could hear her soft affirmation coming over my right shoulder as the portly gentleman bellowed, “Me too! That’s me – a grumpy old man.” I chuckled as he continued, “I guess it comes with old age. You get old, and you get grumpy.”
“I guess so,” I lied. I knew for a fact that age wasn’t the issue. The mini-me gently nudging my shoulder was proof of that. She was over shopping. She was ready to move on. Beeeeeeep!!