I had fully intended to blog this time about nursing. Really I did. After all, that is the subject of my memoir so that is what I intended to focus on in my blog. But, growing old just keeps distracting me. It can be so darn entertaining at times. Take, for instance, my recent trip to Target to pick up a few things for my daughter’s baby shower.

I was in a particularly good mood that morning as I shopped for my daughter and soon-to-be-grandson. I have to admit that when the sun is shining and all’s right with the world, I tend to forget that I am in my 60’s. Unless confronted by a mirror, I still think of myself as somewhere on the downhill side of middle aged. Certainly not elderly. So I’m always surprised when I come face to face with someone who sees me differently.

I was having trouble finding the diapers I needed to construct the clever centerpiece I had found on the Baby Shower section of Pintrest. I had assumed, apparently incorrectly, that diapers would be with other paper products, such as toilet paper, or Kleenex. After circling those aisles for the third time, I was approached by a perky, twenty-something salesgirl.

“Can I help you find something?” she asked.

“I’m looking for disposable diapers,” I replied.

Perky looked puzzled. She seemed uncomfortable, as if she didn’t know what to say. I wondered what I had said wrong. Maybe they weren’t called disposable diapers anymore, now that nearly everything was disposable?

“You know…diapers….Pampers,” I explained.

Relief flooded over her face. Her sparkling smile returned.

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “You’re looking for diapers for BABIES. They’re in the back of the store, near housewares.”

“Thanks,” I said and steered my cart towards the back of the store.

That’s when it hit me… the reason she had looked so uncomfortable… the reason she didn’t know how to respond to me at first. She had seen my white hair and couldn’t decide if she should direct me to the baby, or to the adult, diapers. Pampers or Depends. I finally understood her dilemma, poor child. I started to smile. And then I started to chuckle. The more I saw myself as other shoppers probably did – a white haired, eccentric old woman wandering the aisles of Target, laughing and smiling to herself – the funnier it became and the more I laughed.

Suddenly it occurred to me that if I didn’t stop laughing, the store manager might start calling local nursing homes, asking if any of them were missing a confused old woman. Wiping the tears from my eyes and suppressing my smile as best I could, I tried to get a grip. I concentrated on my serious face as I continued my shopping, with only an occasional smirk crossing my lips. I made it through the check-out line and back to my car before bursting into laughter.

Driving home, I rolled down the windows, cranked up the radio and sang along to Born To Be Wild at the top of my voice. On the outside, the wrinkles and white hair may tell a story I am not yet ready to hear. But, on the inside, I’m still me – a child of the Woodstock Generation, light years away from little, old lady.


About Carol Bryant

Hi. My name is Carol Bryant. I'm a transplanted New Yorker, living in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. While it was skiing that initially drew me to Colorado, it's been the laid-back, outdoor lifestyle which has kept me here for nearly 30 years. I'm a writer, nurse, travel agent and mediocre tennis player. I began my writing career 20 years ago, writing essays and magazine articles. Recently, I completed my first manuscript and am currently seeking representation for this work. It's a memoir of my nursing career which spans two continents, forty years and some of the most intriguing characters who have ever entered a hospital. I’ve been told that if I ever hope to have my memoir published, I need to establish a platform – a following of readers who enjoy my writing. So, I am shamelessly asking for you to become part of that platform. I plan to blog on various topics that I find entertaining. If you are entertained, moved to cry or laugh out loud, then I have accomplished what I have set out to do. I feel as if I am taking that first, timid step out onto the frozen lake, hoping that the ice will hold me. It’s scary as hell but I’ll give it a go. After some of the things I have faced down in my 40 years of nursing, how bad can blogging be? It beats shaving scrotums.
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  1. Phil Bryant says:

    You are only as old as you feel – diet and exercise is the key to aging gracefully.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cassie says:

    I love this story! I can picture your moment of realization and then laughing, and then trying so hard to suppress your laughter! I hope you always stay young at heart. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ginny Smith says:

    I feel the same way (even though I’m a teensy bit younger). You are always “you”; not that reflection in the window. Keep writing, I like to read your stories!


  4. John Bryant says:

    I once saw a Depend advert that offered a “free sample” via mail. I photocopied the coupon and sent in multiple requests, in the names/addresses of all my motorcycle riding buddies (all over 60). The next group ride was a CACK,,,, no one could figure out who was responsible!


  5. Mary Ellen Cowan says:

    Sounds can be deceiving too. Growing old together has created a new level of cooperation between me and my husband. I have great hearing, him not so much. He has perfect vision, I need all the help I can get. I am the Yin to his Yang. When our young granddaughter asked Papa for a juice bag, he froze and looked at me quite puzzled. I knew right away that he was hearing douchebag! Still laughing over that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wowie-kazowie…you handled that one with grace and dignity…
    The thing is, you don’t look at all like one in need of Pampers, adult or newborn sized.


  7. Pingback: GRANNY GOES SHOPPING | carolbryantblog

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