Sunday, August 07, 2005
Mission: Get 2 bottles of wine to share with my boss, winding down from a stressful week with the big heads of the company
Location: Sheetz Mega Convenience Store, Raleigh, NC
Time: 11:30 PM, Thursday night
My mission was simple. We had just finished dinner with the Global CEO of our company, and with the President of our region (North America). It was quite the week, with bad news, with good news, lots of meetings, lots of things resolved. My boss wanted to do a late night post mortem, and get it all out of our system. I offered to get the fixings to aid in the post mortem - a bottle of red, and a bottle of white. I stopped at Sheetz to buy the wine. It's a convenience store like no other I've seen. Hi tech - almost space age - which is shocking considering the locale.
I got two bottles and then proceeded to look for a cork screw. This store has everything one could imagine, except for a cork screw. At least from what I could see.
I went up to the counter and asked the guy manning the register if they had a cork screw. He was about 23, olive skin, kind of short, quite cute. Once I spoke to him, I realized he was an Italian transplant, I'm guessing in the the US for a couple of years. Still had that stereotypical Italian accent i.e. "mama mia, givea me a bigga meat ball"
Me: do you sell corkscrews?
M: do you sell corkscrews, you know, wine bottle openers...to open wine
H: what do you call-a them?
H: oh no. We don't have-a those
M: Oh, bummer. i guess I'll have to make another stop
H: You can come-a home with-a me, I'll help-a you to open them *wink*
M: Oh my stars, you are a cheeky monkey. ha ha, thanks for asking, but I'll have to pass
H: if you change-a your mind...
M: I'll just take the wine
M: how much do I owe you?
H: $35. I'll need to see-a your I.D.
I fumbled around and found my ID. I presented it do him for his inspection so he could finish the sale.
He looked at it, then he looked at me. He then said: "I didn't think you were THAT-A old"
I was a little taken aback. My eyes opened wide and my response was "Thanks. I feel pretty and special"
He blushed and looked ashamed. He bagged up my wine, and then said "Thanks-a Ma'am"
I rolled my eyes and left.
My roomate, who is a southerner, assured me that it is beaten into everyone's head in the South that every woman is a Ma'am as soon as they hit 15. "With maturity comes the title "ma'am" she says.
At the moment, it didn't feel good to be called Ma'am. I moved on to the Kroger grocery store, and picked up a wine bottle opener. I toyed with the idea of picking up a bottle of Geritol, but figured I could wait until I return to SF. When it came time to check out, I had the option of doing the self serve register. I figured that the self serve register was low risk option that wouldn't try to pick me up, and then insult my age.
Boy, I love the south - not.