I’ve Lost My Kids

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive…the produce man.

I am in trouble. A trouble all of my own making.
I've tweeted/FB'd about this, but let me start at the beginning.

I live in a semi-small town. We have a grocery store that is pretty much old school amazing. They carry your groceries out, they speak to you when you come in the door, they still have their own butcher. I love this place. We all do.

When I go in to the produce department, I'm happily bagging my Galas, and Produce Guy will say hello. I say hello. Over the last few years, this conversation has changed a bit. It started going something like this:
Him: “Hello.”
“Where's the kids? No kids with you today?”
Me: “No, not me. I don't have any of those. Must be thinking of someone else.”
Then he gets embarrassed and flustered and things get kinda weird.
We go by this same script MANY times.

Finally, one day, I've had about all the awkward I can handle. So our conversation goes like this:
Him: Hello!
Me: Hello!
“So you got out without the kids today?”

We've been having this same conversation for nearly two years. A few months ago, my mom came in the store with me, and Produce Man and I went through the rigamarole again, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw her do a double-take. Later I pulled her aside. “I have kids.”
“That's what I hear.”

So now when I go in, Produce Man is taking it to a new level. He's asking specific questions. This was our conversation last week:
Him: Hello.
Me: Hello.
Him: No kids today?
Me: Nah
Him: Where are they?
Me: *blink*  *awkward pause*
Him: Are they at home?
Me: Uh-huh.
Him: Husband keeping them?
Me: …….(contemplating a crack about kids in the trunk…) Yes.
Him: So you got out of the house without them. Usually I see you with a trail of kids behind you. How'd you manage a break?
Me: Just lucky I guess. See ya! *grabs Galas and runs to the bacon section.*

I'm at that point where Produce Man is looking at me funny.
And there's a tone. A tone that says, “Something doesn't smell right here. And it's not the guava.”

So I need to come up with an excuse next time he questions me. Reasons why I do not have the children with me. Here are some options.

1. I lost them in a custody case. Turns out it's not good to feed them ice cream 3 meals a day.
2. The six-year old twins wanted to join the circus. Who was I to stand in the way of their dreams?
3. Something leaped out of the TV and grabbed them. Due to slow reflexes, I wasn't able to stop it.  Maybe if I contribute to PBS, they'll return.
4. They're now old enough to stay at home by themselves. Ryan Reynolds, Jr, is now a strapping four-years old.
5. They're allergic to produce.
6. They're in the freezer section playing Jenga with the Cool-Whips.
7. “I lost them in the food court a few weeks ago. Do you think I should've reported that?”
8. Times are hard. I sold them on ebay. Well, I sold Ryan Reynolds, Jr. on ebay. Little Gaga and Baby Minaj are sitting on my front porch holding a sign that says, “FREE!” and waiting for their Craig's List pickup.
9. They're all in college now. Three kids under four at Princeton is pretty pricey, but when you birth prodigies, you do what you gotta do.
10. I sent them to the Duggar's to live. That was two months ago, and so far Michelle and Jim Bob haven't noticed.

Let this be my public service announcement on the dangers of lying. It starts out a harmless little “Uh-huh,” then next thing you know, I'm creating kindergarten graduation announcements and baby scrapbooks to share with the man who sells me apples.

Anyone want to send me a few jpgs of your kids?
Have a great weekend. ; )

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 20 comments
Kristin - April 13, 2012

Ha…this is hilarious. =)


Katharine - April 13, 2012

I live in the city (or used to anyway,) and we had peeps at Costco and the library who always asked about our large family. But I’m baffled that he connects you with kids that you never had in the first place. Maybe you have a look-alike in your little town? You should SO use this in a book.

Anne Mateer - April 13, 2012

Oh, Jenny! I needed that laugh this morning! I actually have a clerk at one of the grocery stores in town that is kind of like yours that asks every single time he checks me out if I used to teach at the high school. I did not. I tell him that every time. He still asks. Of course my story isn’t nearly as funny as yours!

Connie Almony - April 13, 2012

Thanks, Jenny. Needed that laugh. I was jealous your people in the store actually talk to you. I get excited when the self-check out asks me if I want to check out in English or Spanish. So conversational! And bi-lingual too. But I guess I’ll be grateful. Can’t afford to invent any more kids.

Leah Morgan - April 13, 2012

This just drives me nuts! I’m ready to drive to your semi-small town from my microscopic one without a grocery store and sort this out. I would’ve clenched my hands so tight the juice dripped right out of the lemons in my fists a few times into this scenario and asked, “WHY do you always assign kids to me?”
Like a clean freak around dust mites, I’m compelled to clear the air.

HopefulLeigh - April 13, 2012

I say go with whatever will make Produce Guy feel the most awkward. You must have a clone frequenting the grocery store. Or he really, really wants you to have kids.

Erin McFarland - April 13, 2012

You should take your school kids on a field trip to the super market one day. Would love to see Produce Guy’s expression when you walk in with a bus load of adolescence. Then you can tell him “you didn’t get to sneak out of the house without them today”. lol

Jenny B Jones - April 13, 2012

Anne, never admit to being a teacher. You never know WHAT they’ll do to you next.

Erin, that is one awesome idea. Can you imagine? 90 teenagers…

Leigh, it’s all awkward for sure.

Leah, dust mites are supposed to be cleaned?

Connie, one of the men carries out my groceries, serenades me with R&B, kisses my cheek, and tells me he loves me. Every. Time. In a noncreepy way.

Katharine, I need to borrow your children. How do they feel about Greyhound bus trips to Arkansas?

Connie Almony - April 13, 2012

Never admit to being a teacher? Try seeing what happens when you tell people you’re a counselor. The cable lady gave me her sob story about how her police officer boyfriend didn’t appreciate her graffiti love poem on the highway sign. Then, she proceded to show me her grease burn on her stomach. I begged, “Please, please, don’t lift your shirt.” Never again!!!

Ashley Clark - April 13, 2012

This sounds remarkably similar to my dad’s name getting mistaken as “Jeff” at Arby’s… quite a funny story. This lady called him Jeff for months until finally one of his friends outed him as “Steve” during a work lunch.

Kari - April 13, 2012

Pretty sure #7 might liken you to Casey Anthony. Too soon? How about you start taking my kids and doing my grocery shopping while I enjoy happy hour at Sonic?! 🙂 I love that your mom got to experience this with you!!

Cheri Horgan - April 13, 2012

Jenny, as always you are the queen of fun! We loved it! My son suggested you simply look at him and start crying, “Too soon, too soon…” and let him wonder. Stevie wanted to send you a pic of our black pug puppy in a baby bonnet…and I am eagerly awaiting your next chapter! Keep up the great work!

Jenny B Jones - April 13, 2012

Kari, I totally need to borrow the girls.

Cheri, great idea!

Olivia - April 14, 2012

Oh. My. Word. My brothers think I’m insane, I was laughing so hard. 🙂 That is very strange! Every time!? You must have a long lost twin!

Rachel - April 16, 2012

“It starts out a harmless little “Uh-huh,” then next thing you know, I’m creating kindergarten graduation announcements and baby scrapbooks to share with the man who sells me apples.”

It’s so true and yet so hilarious.

Katelyn - April 16, 2012

I am rolling on the floor laughing! Oh man, here in Canada our supermarkets aren’t near as good as yours sound. They’re mostly teenagers bored out of their mind popping their gum. It can be annoying. You should totally tell him that house got so dirty from Ryan Renolds Jr you lost them a week ago. Thanks for the laugh!!!!!!!!

Pattie - April 19, 2012

OK. First of all, YOU MUST HAVE A TWIN. Somewhere in that town.
In 2002 I went to a teaching interview in a small town high school, and everyone in the office, even the principal, thought I was one of the middle school teachers. I got hired anyway. Then my students would come in on Mondays all mad because I didn’t tell them my husband got a new sporty car and I didn’t wave at them from the sporty convertible. What?!?! I was the breadwinner as my hubby was working two part-time jobs as a chaplain and a pastor. We did NOT have money for a sporty convertible! I finally met the other teacher, and other than the fact that she was taller, from a distance of ten feet away we DID look like we could be twins.
So I think you could easily say, “you must be mistaking me for my twin” and leave it at that. He might not know what a doppelganger is. 😉

D Martin - April 19, 2012

This reminds me of an experience of a friend of mine. She had temporarily lost her voice and was at the grocery store with her two kids. She was kind of signing to them (in her own inexperienced way), and a young grocery worker saw her. The next time she went into the store, fully able to speek, the same grocery guy approached her and did a couple of gestures without words; she realized he thought she was deaf, so avoiding embarrassment, she just nodded and smiled at him. Then the next time she went in, he gestured with some ASL, and she got outta Dodge! 🙂

jada-renee AKA cookie703 - April 20, 2012

OMIGOSH! This is so funny! (You sold ’em on eBay!) I’m still laughing!

Kelly - April 21, 2012

simple is always better. Make a crack about having a twin sister


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