Apparently the cashier also noticed my pause, so she asked me for my ID. I was unable to restrain my response: "Are you carding me?" She looked quite serious and said, "Yes." I told her I could not recall the last time I was carded for a purchase of alcohol. I supplied my ID and restrained the laugh that was desperately trying to burst to life. I'm glad I did not laugh because I probably would have looked like I had no business buying more beer, and, after all, I really wanted the beer.
She returned my ID and rang up the purchase. At the conclusion of the transaction I said to her that I still could not believe she carded me. To which she said "You look very young." I gave her my best look of "jovial suspicion" and told her I was married. I smiled and left for the apartment which is a three minute walk from Duane Reade. I have to admit I rehashed the entire interaction the whole way home. Once home, I relayed the story to Kathy and Emma who both seemed as surprised as me about being carded.
I especially wanted Emma to hear the story because she thinks I'm "so old" and so that she will think twice the next time she wants to hurl her usual taunts at me that feature such phrases as "You can't catch me old man" or "Bring it on grandpa". She thinks she's so funny . . . . So short story long, I shall start using more moisturizer on my face or ramp up my alcohol purchasing at Duane Reade. I haven't decided which it will be.
May I see your ID? Yeah, right . . . .