As The Checkout Line Churns

(I’m ringing up a customer and notice her last name is the same as mine. I have a very uncommon last name, so I made the mistake of mentioning this…) Me: “Your last name is [name]? Mine, too. Wonder if we’re related?” *chuckle* Customer: *very serious* “What is your name?” Me: “Oh, I was joking, we’re not related; almost all of my family lives up in New England.” Customer: *more serious* “What is your name?” Me: “Uhhh…I’m no–” Customer: “Do you have a brother named [brother’s name]?” Me: “Yes, actually…” Customer: “Is your mother [mom’s name]?” Me: “Uh, yeah…” Customer: “And your father’s name is [my estranged father’s name]?” Me: “Well, he’s my biological father, yes.” Customer: *sticks out hand* “Nice to meet you, I’m your step-mother!” (The entire line of about a dozen people behind her gasps, like they were watching a soap opera.) Me: “Oh, God…please don’t tell my father I work here.” Customer: “You know why your father left your mother, right?” Me: “Uh…no?” Customer: “Because she cheated on him with [my stepfather]!” (The line behind her gasps again.) Me: “Oh, okay…” Customer: “You know, your father is very heartbroken about you. You’ve grown up to be such a beautiful young woman. You should call him and talk to him just so he can see how you’re doing.” Me: “Actually, we don’t–” Customer: “You and I need to go out for coffee sometime. I have a lot of stories to tell you.” Me: “Okay, well–” Customer: “I promise, I’m not an evil stepmother. Well, I’ll see you later, sweetie!” *bounces out the front door* Me: *speechless* Next customer: “Sweetie, are you okay?” Me: *still speechless* Next customer: “Why don’t you take a break? We don’t mind waiting.” Entire line: “No! Go take a break!” Me, to my boss: “Hey, I’m taking a break. I’ll be back in–” Boss: “For God’s sake, go home! I’ll see you on Monday.”

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