Last night, during the Food and Wine Festival, where I was stationed yet again in Patagonia (five days straight! I’m an empanada master!) I was able to meet some new Cast Members who were a part of the Disney College Program. We ate lunch together while I shamelessly asked them questions about their Disney experience like I was some sort of interviewer. I love learning about why people come to work at Disney.
Partway through, one of them looked down at my lunch –a large salad with almonds, tomatoes, cucumber slices, mushrooms and dried figs — and asked quite frankly, “Why are you eating… old lady food?”
“Old lady food?” I repeated. I looked down. My salad looked unassuming. There was a side of tabouleh salad and a cup of coffee.
“Are those prunes?”
“Figs! I like dried fruit.”
There was a beat of silence before, sarcastically, someone asked, “Do you knit, too?”
My lack of response was answer enough. They started to laugh. I tried to elaborate– I can only do scarves. I’m working on hats. But no one would listen. Knitting, to them, meant I was practically a grandma.
I returned to my kiosk, chatting with one of the workers as we plated. “Hey!” I said, “If you have an empanada-shaped pinata, is it an em-pinata?”
I was met with blank stares.
“Don’t ever do that again,” he said, seriously but not unkindly. “That wasn’t funny. That was old lady humor.”
So I had to set the record straight. “I thought that was clever,” I said. “I’m not afraid to admit I knit, I eat prunes and I like cottage cheese and I watch black and white movies more than any other kind. My favorite TV show is Bewitched. I bet you don’t even know who Elizabeth Montgomery is, and that’s a shame. I bake cupcakes for people who are mean to me and that’s how I make friends. And if I want to joke about having no empanadas in the window, I totally will.”
(My other empanada joke goes like this: if we have no empanadas plated, we have. … empa-nada! Get it? Nada, as in no more in Spanish, which fits because I’m in the Patagonia kiosk.)
Let’s face it though. I think I am an old lady in training. I jumped light years ahead to the time of life where I complain about Kids These Days and can’t work the internet. My coworkers totally have a point.
But that’s okay. I’ll just knit cozies for my cups of tea and watch The Dick Van Dyke show. If you want to laugh at my jokes and eat cupcakes, come on over! It’s bound to be a wonderfully low – key time. (No shame.)