She asked me for my ID for the cider. The only picture ID that I have (besides my passport, which I don’t carry around) is my Texas driver’s license, which I produced from my purse. And you would have thought I’ d whipped out a piece of toilet paper that said in crayon that I was born in 1972.
Counter Lady stared hard at it and flipped it over, stared some more, flipped it some more, stared at my face and back at the photo twice in quick succession, said out loud, “1972?” and then asked me exactly where I’ d obtained this ID. I shit you not. Nevermind that emblazened across the top if it is Texas Driver License. And that even if it said Planet Mars Super-Fake ID For Young Children Who Should Not Be Sold Alcohol, again I remind you I was standing three feet away from her with no makeup under MOST unflattering lighting. I will not lie to you. No sane person would ever in a million years guess I was a day younger than 32 at that moment, and that may be generous.
Then, I swear to God, do you know what she did next? She called over the manager.
And asked the manager quite loudly, “Is this an acceptable form of ID? There’s no hologram on it.” Apparently, British ID’s have that. But seriously holy shit, lady. Is that what you’re hung up on? The absence of a hologram? As though just looking at my FACE won’t tell you it’ s been at least more than a decade since I was younger than 18, and in fact almost two decades?
And then the manager! Oh, the manager. Again with the scrutiny of the ID, but she didn’t even bother looking at me. I swear on the holy dirt of Gaia, it was like showing up for a Pap smear in England and the doctor not believing you’re a female because the medical file is from America. Forget that you’re sitting there with boobs and a uterus. The chart doesn’t look right! So you might be a man!
Of course, hologram or no, the same thing happens in the US. Calling over the manager gives the impression of thinking and giving a shit without actually having to, you know, think and care. And no manager is going to say, “You effing dolt! Can’t you see the lady is on her last gasp before middle age?” Because that would encourage them to think, and they might think wrong. And what would be the problem with that? Well, none at all, unless the purchaser happened to be a government spy, in which case the clerk’s stupidity would rebound upon the manager. The natural world is a dangerous enough place, where poor choices mean pain and even death. We can’t repeal the laws of nature; the best we can do is establish a nanny state to attempt to shield us from the worst effects of them. But that state applies its own huge collection of possibilities for pain and death.