Though I don’t always believe in myself, or necessarily think I’m the prettiest girl in the room, I think years past have proved that I’m approachable. I’ll talk to anyone. And while sometimes I can get nervous in a crowd, I usually don’t let it show and try to be someone who looks…nice. And easygoing.
I’ve been approached by my share of men. (Some attractive, but many of them undesirable. Don’t get me started on the fella who got my number when I was a server at a restaurant, and then turned into a crazy psycho stalker. Or the girl who just wanted to hug me. Another time.) Most of the time it’s when I’m unavailable. My theory is that more so than looks, men are attracted to confidence. And when I’m in a relationship, I relax a little and feel more at ease knowing that I’m not out to impress someone.
While I’ve been approached at the usual places—at a bar, in class—and some not-so-usual—I’m looking at you, Hobby Lobby— I experienced a first this past Monday night: the grocery store.
That’s right. While some young man was headed out to pick up some pantry necessities, he tried to pick me up as well.
All day Monday, I was craving soup. It was dark, dreary, rainy and in general, a Soup Day. So after a short Google search to see what I would be making, it was off to Publix that I went. (I’ll share the recipe shortly.)
While in the store, I decided to snag a few other essentials, like produce and some canned items. As I made my way to the beans, minding my own beans-ness (HAHAHA, I am so funny), I could see a man sidling up beside me. His brow was furrowed as he scanned the cans. I was trying to find the cheapest low-sodium option for black beans. I found my prize in a 4/$5 can of Glory brand beans. Then he spoke.
“Are these they black beans?” he asked.
I turned my gaze towards him. Um, you mean, the cans that are printed with the words, “black beans” and have pictures of beans that are black emblazoned across the labels?
“Yes,” I replied.
Then he proceeded to ask me what was a good kind. What do you put them? What was I going to put them in (TWSS)? And on and on. It was then that he noticed I had a recipe.
“What’s for dinner tonight?” he inquired, peering over at my papers.
I explained that I was making chowder, sort of like a potato soup. He nodded that it was the perfect night for soup. Before he could ask me any more questions about beans, I started to roll my cart away in a natural motion. Not awkward at all.
“Okayawesome…that’sgreat…so…goodluckwithdinnerbye!” I stammered as I made my way to the frozen goods.
As I ran the sitch over my head, I found it so odd. But also kinda brilliant. Go to a grocery store on a dark and stormy night, find a somewhat attractive lady, and then proceed to be confuzzled by canned beans. He was attractive enough. I never really feel like someone would want to hit on me, so I simply shook it off and began formulating the hilarious story this would become while on the phone with my sister later.
While picking up the last item on my list over in the dairy section, I saw him again. Le sigh. It was going to be difficult to run away quickly without being more awkward than I already am, so I decided to just play my cards.
He saw me.
“So, what kind of cheese do you think I should get?” Oh, he was pulling the big guns out. Talking to me about cheese.
“I guess it just depends on what you’re making,” I said.
He smiled. “I’m going to make that potato soup you were talking about!” I looked down. The shopper stalker was still clutching that lone can of black beans. No other items were to be seen. I mean, come on. Everyone knows that the cheese and dairy aisle is a last stop for Publix customer. (At least, if you shop logically, from one side to the other.)
“Definitely cheddar,” I responded, as I tried to make my escape. Attempts were futile.
“So…are you a student here?” Oh great. Here it comes. We did the little song-and-dance, where are you from, oh that’s nice, etc.
“I wish I had your recipe,” he said, almost wistfully. In a last-ditch effort to get away, I tried to thrust the print off into his hands. “Here, I’m just going to look this up online when I get home.” He wouldn’t take it, though he did ask me what website I used. (I replied RachelWilkerson.com. Proudly, I might add.)
I was doing the slow roll-away with my cart, but he was having none of it. “How will we know whose recipe is better?” He winked. “Do you have a phone number?”
“HAHAHAHA.” Uncomfortable laughter. “No, but um, here’s my email address.” <Insert fake email here.>
He pocketed the decoy address, smiled, and asked would I “be online tonight.”
I said maybe, then finally managed to get away.
One of my coworkers asked why I didn’t just say, “I have a boyfriend.” I think there’s still this part of me that A) doesn’t want to be mean, and B) doesn’t want to come off as sounding conceited and thinking that every man is interested in me.
Have you ever been approached at grocery store? Have you ever tried to throw someone off the scent with a fake number? I had a friend who used to have the number for the county pregnancy testing center memorized, and she would give it out to wannabe suitors.