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looking for love, on aisle three

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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.

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19 responses »

  1. I wonder if he actually left the store with only some cheddar cheese and a can of black beans! 🙂

    I haven’t been hit on at a random place in a long while — the rings pretty much ward off 99% of men — but I did actually get approached by some guy at a BBQ bar while I was on a date WITH. MY. HUSBAND.

    He came up to me and did the whole cutesy “heyyy” thing (I was walking to the bathroom) and I quickly flashed the left hand to let him know I was off the market. That didn’t deter him — he kept asking me questions about where I got my cute top and blah, blah, blah. Ugh! I bolted, but unfortunately had to pass him again on my way back to the table; I kept my eyes fixed to the floor the entire time.

    Generally, though, I wouldn’t do the fake number/e-mail address — I think letting a guy down gently when he asks is kinder than giving him the false impression his flirting schtick totally worked, only to be rejected/embarrassed when he tries to actually contact you. What if you bump into him again at the same supermarket?

    Reply
  2. I got chatted up in an art gallery in Newcastle a few weeks ago. I didn’t notice, but my sister insisted it was the case. Bear in mind that I’m married and carrying the 10lbs I gained on honeymoon (on top of some more unwanted ones). Clearly I talk good art!

    Reply
  3. Even though I heard this store, I still laughed out loud. I had a similar experience at Wal Mart once. And that’s a big freaking store… he found me everywhere!

    I get hit on by 95% undesirable men. I especially hate being hit on by a man in a car following me down the sidewalk. CREEPY MUCH?

    The “I have a boyfriend” answer doesn’t really seem to work with the creepazoids. I got told by one guy “That’s what all you pretty white girls say.” It’s true, I sometimes say it even when I am single.

    However, the cute French guy with the half unbuttoned shirt at J Clyde. I am S.I.N.G.L.E.

    Reply
  4. Men are TOLD to pick up women at the grocery store. It’s so funny that it actually happened to you! It’s so awkward, right? When I was single, I always used the “I have a boyfriend” excuse but always felt like the guy knew I was lying.

    Reply
    • I thought it was weird, too! I think I’ve heard that before, you know, as a guideline for men—“check out grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.” I used the “I have a boyfriend” line once, and the person was all, “uh, I don’t want to get married or anything, I’m trying to buy you a drink.” Rude.

      Reply
  5. Imma judo chop that creeper if I see him out shopping again. Good taste, but nothing makes up for creepy-mccreeperson methods.

    Reply
  6. I AM SO PROUD I MADE IT INTO THIS STORY!!!

    Reply
  7. I was approached by a guy holding a 48 (yes, 48) pack of hot dogs while I was perusing cat food and kitty litter choices at Publix.

    What’s going on at Publix?!

    Reply
  8. I’ve been hit on in the grocery store before as well, but not quite so persistently….and usually by older men, le sigh.

    Also, thanks for your recent comments on my blog….I wanted to email you, but once again can’t seem to find your email address? double le sigh.

    Reply
  9. Awe, what a brave boy! Good for him for putting it out there. Unless he was just looking for someone to “cook his soup” if you know what I mean.

    I guess my wedding band speaks for itself (or maybe I just look like a beeyotch… or maybe I’m just not as cute as I think) but I’ve never truly been hit on so far as to ask for contact info. At least not since college. I think a “oh thank you that’s so flattering but I have a boyfriend” is appropriate. That way he isn’t all excited about getting your info only to feel rejected later and not know why.

    Reply
  10. Jesus Pete, this JUST happened to me in the checkout line at Publix! I always go to the one in Vestavia, but I was close to Hoover and went to that one on 31. Publix. It’s the new Nana Funk’s. Or something cool like that.

    Reply
  11. Pingback: who wants chowdah? « that's what summer said.

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