Mistaken Identity

by Rita Rubin

I was trying to decide between the romaine and the radicchio when it finally registered that the store employee who kept saying excuse me, excuse me, was talking to me. "Mushrooms," he said expectantly, holding out two packages of baby Portobellos with such pride that you'd think they were oh-so-rare black truffles his dog had just unearthed. After a moment, I realized that he had confused me with another gray-haired woman who'd been seeking mushrooms in the produce aisle a moment earlier. She was shorter, dumpier, and, if I'm any judge, older. Oh, and she had bangs, while my forehead is as naked as the day I was born. "I guess we all look alike to you," I said to the man with skin the color of the organic chocolate on aisle 2.

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Rita Rubin, a long-time newspaper reporter, has discovered in middle age that she also likes to make things up. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area.