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A Slice of Advice with Ms. Price
Dear Ms. Price,
I want to get your advice on a matter that my daughter and I have been discussing. She is accusing me of being grouchy and turning into an “old lady.”
Lately, whenever I go shopping at clothing stores or even at grocery stores, I have noticed that cashiers are commenting on my purchases. If it’s a shirt, the cashier will spend time looking at it, commenting on the color or size or the quality of the material. At the grocery store, the bag person and cashier will ask me questions about my food, whether or not it’s as delicious as it looks or other random comments. It’s been happening more and more frequently and it’s becoming tiresome.
I know they’re trying to be friendly and perhaps this is what they’re instructed to do by the store to provide good “quality customer service,” but it is becoming an issue for me.
I’m not sure if I am being grouchy, but I am finding myself more and more annoyed. It’s getting to the point where I am not being friendly anymore, just so that I don’t encourage them. My daughter tells me to chill out and accuses me of getting old.
Give it to me straight. Am I becoming a grouchy old person?
Yes, it appears that you’re becoming a grouchy old person.
It’s perfectly understandable. As we grow older, many of us become annoyed with senseless small talk.
Full disclosure, I am in agreement with you on this topic. I’ve actually noticed the same thing and it annoys me, too. With the goal of providing quality customer service, many stores train their employees to chit chat with customers. Other than the weather, what else can they talk about? I handle it by putting myself in their shoes, smile (behind my mask) and answer in a kind way.
You could try to help them with their mandatory chit chat and move the conversation to another topic. If they compliment your food, say a quick thanks and then pivot the conversation to something less annoying, like the weather or politics.
Dear Ms. Price,
I am a 35-year-old woman, engaged to my high school sweetheart. We became engaged just before the pandemic and have put all of our plans on hold, including getting pregnant. It seemed like the right choice at the time, but I am realizing that my time is running out. My fiancé still thinks we should wait on both the marriage and pregnancy.
I was so excited before all of this happened. Now I am feeling a sense of depression I have never felt before and am having trouble snapping out of it. I know we’re very lucky and these are small problems, but I am heartbroken and seeing no end in sight.
Dear Empty Nest,
I am sorry for your pain. This has been a challenging time for everyone, but I especially feel for those of you who are putting the joys of life like marriage and childbirth on hold due to the pandemic.
It’s important to start your healing by sharing your feelings. Talk with your family and friends. Reach out to a therapist for help and keep discussing this timeline with your fiancé. You say that he still wants to wait, but since this is causing you so much pain, perhaps there can be a compromise.
Your path has taken a detour, but it doesn’t mean that the outcome won’t be the same. The decision you and your fiancé made was mature, thoughtful and the right decision for the two of you at the time. Keep your eye on the big picture, and know that this will all end and before you know it.