Monday, December 17, 2007

To Err Is Human

The Hudson Price Chopper is the one place I go where I decide: I do not care how I look. I do not care who I see. I do not care if Eugene Hutz is waiting for me in the ethnic foods section. I will focus on my list and I will keep my gloves on to keep my skin from the germy surface of the shopping-cart handle-bar and I will get this done.

Saturday night, I'm in my go-to-the-grocery-store-in-the-winter outfit: two layers of pants (of the sweat variety), several shirt layers under my winter coat (puff city), black clunky Uggs, my hair pulled back into a last-minute pony tail.

First stop: produce. I roll in and almost have a head-on cart collision with a tall, nice-looking fellow who I have never seen before--his cart is full of healthy food (I think I even saw a plant in there). He smiles. I smile back, but I keep rollin'. I'm not here to flirt.

At the lettuce station, I try to decide between arugala and baby spinach when the tall nice-looking man sidles up to the lettuce next to me.... "Hi," he says. "How are you?"

In general, when I am out and about, I am a gregarious person. I am open to conversation. I am not shy. I am usually the one saying "hi, how are you?" I will investigate, in short, any and every slightly decent possibility. I see it as my job as a single woman--to represent, to do my part (plus, if I follow leads, then I feel I can still complain a little).

But this friendly, warm fellow tries to strike up a conversation and all I can think is: If we do start talking, and it becomes an actual conversation, and maybe he asks for my number or asks me on a date and it works out, that will mean, after all is said and done, that we MET IN THE PRODUCE SECTION! The cliche of it hits me in such a way that it takes all my might to not turn to him and say: seriously?

Couldn't he have approached me in the toothpaste aisle? Or even better, in front of the Green Mountain coffee bins?

In the midst of my very loud interior dialogue, I answer him perfunctorily, say "Fine. How are you?" You know, like "finehowareyouandwhyareyoutalkingtomeandwhatdoyouwantandwhyareyou
beingfriendlyfornoreason?" kind of way. More accusatory than anything else. "Good," he says. Then grabs a head of lettuce and continues on his way. I do not blame him in the least.

Once I realize my transgression, I try stalking him through the store, but he is heading to the registers. The moment has passed. He is done and gone.

Universe, I promise, the next time a handsome man tries to talk to me at the grocery store, I will talk back....


McPolack said...

maybe he was gay and was going to ask if you had a brother...or maybe he doesn't wash his greens and you'd end up dead from salmonella poisoning. i got picked up by a guy in the produce section recently, btw, and he was a complete weirdo.

Anonymous said...

Try Craigslist> Hudson Valley> Missed Connections.