I’ll Take a Fish Sandwich, a Diet Coke & a Defibrillator, Please

Woman standing by drive0thru signing looking shocked and surprised
Beware folks! The drive-thru can be a shocking experience.

Perception is Everything

It’s a good thing I don’t have Long Q-T Syndrome. Here’s why.

I went through the drive-thru at Ubiquitous Burger Joint recently. The young woman catching cash at the first window was sporting a set of false eyelashes that (I kid you not!) could scratch her back with one blink.

When I reached over to grab my debit card out of my wallet and turned around to hand it to her, I reflexively gasped aloud. I came a hair’s breadth away from yelling out, “Get Back, Satan! Not today.”

Thankfully, I didn’t.

Whew! was I relieved that my aging limbic system responds slightly slower than it used to. I’d recently had a similar experience, learning a valuable lesson while in New England. (See my post: A New Take On A Boston Accent.)

That lesson must have been wearing off. I needed a booster, I suppose.

Relieved she hadn’t heard my gasp, I fixed my hands firmly on the steering wheel and stared straight ahead. After charging my card, she handed me my receipt and said a pleasant “Have a nice day.”

Still Stunned

I carefully looked around as I pulled away from the pickup window. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being filmed for one of those Candid Camera shows or that an Ashton Kutcher wanna-be wasn’t waiting to punk me.

Seeing no cameramen or equipment, I drove off, shaking my head.

As I drove, I muttered: “To think she intentionally went out of the house that way!”

Side view of woman's eye wearing extremely long false eyelashes

The Irony

I continued with my self-talk. “Okay, grandma, you’re old enough to know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Poor thing probably thinks those lashes make her look like the cat’s pajamas.”

“Yep,” I answered myself.

The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on me.

This young woman purposely glued what looked like a box of foot-long pipe cleaners to her eyelids - and proceeded to leave her home to work in a public-facing role. Yet ‘I’ was the one who was red-faced, uncomfortable and flooded with second-hand embarrassment. What’s up with that?!

I’m a Baby Boomer, so obviously, I see things differently.

Serious Empathy

Despite the comedic inspiration, I drove away feeling sad that— for whatever reason — an otherwise beautiful young lady had obviously felt the need to go to such ‘lengths’ to feel as if she looked good.

Physical attractiveness is subjective, but I believe that today’s (Hollywood) do-everything-bigger-than-life, ‘look at me’ craziness is conditioning women to conclude they are not okay - –just as they are. But then again, I’m sure we looked rather shocking at times in the 80s when I was her age.

Sigh … it’s an entirely different world. These days, it seems as if people have to do more and more bizarre things to stand out from the crowd.

To each his own.

Frame of Reference

Okay, so I’m over the initial shock, so on my next visit, I will be able to make eye contact — overlooking her foot-long eye winkers. Now that I’ve been desensitized, I can be my usual chatty self.

At least, I hope so.

I’ll let you know.

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