A line of fidgety folks stood before me.Â The ticket booth for the Minnesota State Fair was doing hot business after a week of weak sales.Â My husband already had his ticket since he would be doing volunteer work later in the day.Â Waggling his ticket in the air… safely within the fairgrounds… he waited as I took one slow step at a time towards the ticketing agent.
A parade of strollers for the wee ones and power scooters for the infirm slid by me on silent wheels.Â There was an eagerness on faces that made me wonder if expectations would be met.Â Since I wasnâ€™t moving my thoughts began to drift in random directions. Â I looked down at my flip-flops.Â Would they hold up to a day of steady walking?Â Where did that chip in my nail polish come from? Why did those corn dogs smell so dang good when I didnâ€™t even want one? How do I feel about women with purple hair?
Oooo. I can move one more step ahead. Done.Â I glanced at my husband with a â€œSee? Iâ€™m almost there!â€ moment of pride, but he was distracted.Â While he was still smiling, it was not because of my progress.Â In his boredom heâ€™d taken to looking at the variety of shapely, shorts-and-tank-top wearing, young women moving in herds of possibility.Â Most held a cell phone in front, reading or texting while talking to the others in the group.Â Multi-tasking for the lovely. I arched an eyebrow, but it too went unnoticed.
A husband and wife duo directly in front of me asked the ticket agent for two adult admissions.
â€œWait!â€ said the woman. â€œOne adult and one senior citizen.â€
â€œOh yeah,â€ said the man. â€œI forgot about your birthday.â€
The freshly aged woman sighed and peeked into the booth windowâ€™s circular hole.Â â€œSo make that one adult ticket, and one â€˜old broadâ€™ ticket.â€
I snickered and winced at the same time.Â At least getting older comes with the occasional discount.Â They moved on and I was there at last.Â I slid a twenty under the glass and said, â€œOne adult please.â€
The agent looked weary, and it was only noon.Â She pushed my ticket and change back at me.Â â€œHave a nice day.â€Â The words were right, but the tone resembled, â€œLife sucks lemons big time.â€
â€œThanks! You too!â€ I said with waaaay to much enthusiasm.Â Sometimes I think I can balance negative energy by willing happiness.Â The agent blinked at me and said nothing. I walked the short distance to my husband, who had apparently come down from his short-short thoughts.
â€œWhat do you want to do first?â€ I said.
â€œHoney, Iâ€™m doing it.â€ He took my hand and we moved into the last remnants of summer.