Fast forward to yesterday when I spent two hours manning a refreshment table at the senior hall. After repeatedly saying, “What can I get you? We have coffee, tea and water” I was absolutely shocked when out of the blue the words, “We have coffee, tea or me” came rolling off my tongue. It was embarrassing, of course, but I laughed it off. That didn’t stop those words from popping out two more times! I was mortified and thankfully half the people in ear shot were hard of hearing and probably thought they miss-heard what I said. Needless to say, it will be awhile before I volunteer for that job again! I did have a revelation, though. People now and in the past who want to be friendly (or flirty) at a refreshment table all come up with the same opening line: “Did you girls make all these cookies?” And yesterday we replied: “We sure did, we stayed up all night.” Back in the ‘60s, though, we actually did stay up half the night baking.
As I recall “coffee, tea or me” was a great pick-up line back in its day. It was a flirtatious code for if-you-ask-me-out-on-date-I’ll-go. Those were the good old days when girls were still half way coy and boys didn’t shout about your body parts as they passed by in a car. “Nice rack!” “Bodelicious butt!” And they wonder why old people get flaky as we age. We have decade’s worth of memories that merge with our present day adventures to form a perfect storm of confusion. Now, when guys in my peer group say, “Did you girls bake all these cookies?” I am left wondering: 1) if they can’t tell store bought from the real thing; 2) they can tell, but they think cookie humor is clever; or 3) they still flirt 1960's style. Just as long as they don’t say something like: “Your rack has fallen below your waistline” I guess it’s all good.
The lecture/slide show I was serving refreshments at featured a father/son team of photographers from up state who had spent every Tuesday for a year going around Michigan photographing nature. Those Tuesday trips resulted in a 400 page, eight pound book that sold for $95.00. I could not believe how many of those books they sold after their breath-taking slide show ended---dozens of them. There will be a lot of cat food sandwiches serviced in my neighborhood between now and Social Security check deposit day. But I found it mildly amusing that a few of the elderly people in the crowd had to ask for a “carry-out service” to get their books to their cars. Lord, I hope that’s not me in ten years but after today, when I had to ask the grocery cashier not to pack my reusable canvas bags so heavy, I'm not so sure I will be lifting any coffee table books in my future. ©