I tweeted my very cool encounter with the checkout clerk yesterday, who gave me a "You go girl!" when he carded me for my bottle of wine. I am not so stupid to know that he was following some new rules to check IDs (and I haven't looked under 21 since I turned 28), as this was my second ID check of the week, and the second time I've heard from others that they were also getting carded. But the "You go girl" caught me by surprise and I love _that_ kind of personality trait in someone, who would just *say* that to a complete stranger...and I was a bit distracted so it's not like my face looked friendly until, I hope, he made me smile. So it was a needed compliment that brightened up a very London-fog kind of a day.
But it reminded me of two of my grocery store encounters last year that were pretty amusing. If you missed my first story, one that I reenacted for many of my friends, you miss me doing pretty good (in my mind) acting of my tales in person. Let's just say *I'm pretty dramatic*. :)
Sometimes I wonder if I have an aura about me that attracts odd things to happen to me. I don't write about them all but from the ones I did happen to write about Happy Birthday Dori and then this one about this little guy.
The Big Bear
Last Spring, I was at the Harris Teeter (on Edwards Mill Road) looking for chicken sausages.
The chicken sausages are next to the fresh seafood section. For those who know me well, I am very focused when I am out and about and ignore everything around the peripheral. So if you pass by and say hi, I don't see you. And especially, if I'm trying to decide between roasted garlic, smoked andouille, spinach feta and sundried tomato.
I remember it was very windy outside and I'm in the refrigerated section next to the cold section of the fresh seafood, so I was chilled to the bone. Why does this matter? Well, at some point, I hear someone break me out of my focus on the chicken sausages by the words "You look like you're really cold."
There was about a second delay for me to process the words I heard and the words I was reading, "Spinach Feta", to understand that those words might have been intended for me. But I am at the HT alone so I am in a confused state and in that second I think I shouldn't look around but I do. And on the other side of the fresh seafood, is a gargantuan of a 'dude' wearing this hat:
But whatever, this big ass dude was coming straight towards me.
The words he spoke to me are no longer clear but they again relate to me being cold. I looked around him to see if there were other 'dudes' and that, perhaps, this was some sort of fraternity hazing joke and they were standing in the background laughing their asses off. But no, it was just him.
Keep in mind, he was loud and in the limelight because this was a big guy - like linebacker big. He came right up to me and said "How about I give you a big bear hug to keep you warm?"
In the microseconds before I replied, "I think I'll pass on that one." I thought: Really? That's a pick up line? And did he think that would really work? And what would he do if I said yes? Hug me right there by the chicken sausages? Right in front of someone trying to pick out their 21 count shrimp?
He smiled and walked away and before he turned the aisle, he boomed across the store and said "Let me know if you change your mind!"
I can't remember what store I was in when, again, I was focused on very particular ingredients for dinner. But the store was not a regular store so I was only semi-familiar with the layout. This will mean something, I promise.
Side note: If you haven't read The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, then you should. It talks about relying on your intuition and both this and the above story shows how, despite being focused and usually not paying attention to my surroundings, I was able to 'sense' someone else paying attention to me (even if I wasn't in danger).
I walked into the store and down one aisle to get to the back. Immediately, I noticed peripherally that there was an elderly gentleman staring at me. Well, this is in hindsight. "Immediately" I thought: there is no way this elderly gentleman is staring at me.
I get to the back and get what I need from there. As I turn, I see the elderly gentleman closer to me, staring at me again. Nope. That is not what he is doing. I'm being narcissistic and this is all just coincidental. I went down HIS aisle and he is just shopping like me.
I go left to get the other things I need and forget about the old man. A few minutes go by, I go the other way to get my other things and pass by the old man, who I feel is staring at me when I pass him. He sure is a slow shopper, I think.
Now, I am in need of one more thing and because I don't know the layout of the store, I am flummoxed. Where would they put this ingredient? So, I slowly walk back from where I came, thinking to myself, and trying to analyze which aisle this ingredient would appear in...when I hear the old man speak to me: "You looked so sure of yourself when you walked in here."
I look up at him. What does he mean by that?
"I watched you walk in here and you came in like a woman who knew exactly what she wanted. And now, you look lost."
"Ah. Yes. Well, I did when I came in. But now, I can't find my one last thing." So...he WAS watching me.
"It's hard not to miss a beautiful woman walk into a store with such a sense of assurance."
Awww...oh wait, I said that out loud: "Awwww...thank you. That's so nice. I appreciate that." Big grin and a nice squeeze to his shoulder. I _can_ be a touchy-feely person with strangers. I guess you need to be an older 'gentleman', with better vocabulary and better pick up lines. :)