Grocery Store Drama in a Small Town

So I’m in the grocery store today and the cashier asks me, “How much weight have you lost?” She doesn’t know me except for what she reads in my columns in the paper, but she asks like she’s known me all my life. That’s ok. It means she’s reading what I write and that’s better PR than getting myself photographed with no underwear on.

Anyway, I told her I’ve lost almost 150 pounds and she says, “Yes, I can tell in your face.” My face? That’s all? Not my ass, my thighs, my arms, my stomach? I’ve lost half myself and she could see it in my FACE? Remembering I was PMSing, I calmed my inner monster, did a mental eye roll and handed her my debit card. Then she said she liked the column I wrote about my neighborhood and how we have several get-togethers every year. I laughed and told her we still hadn’t decided who was going to have the New Year’s Eve party. We finished my transaction and I told her I’d be back to buy oysters for the New Year’s stew that I mentioned in the column and I wheeled my cart out the door.

I’d parked near the building, but instead of bringing my cart all the way inside, I left it by the pop machine. I got in my car and a man approached my window. I rolled it down a little, thinking he was going to lecture me about leaving my cart where I did, but instead he said, “I heard you telling Nancy in there that your neighborhood’s having a party?” I smiled and said we probably were, not sure where if he was looking for an invitation. Then he said, “They’re still taking reservations down at the Roadhouse,” and looked at me as if to say, “Will you go out with me New Year’s Eve?”

The last time I’d been solicited for a date in a parking lot it was dark, I was drunk, and the guy was my age. This man was a little younger than my dad and his back hair stuck up from the back of his collar. He proceeded to ask me if I ever went to the VFW in Strattanville for their poker nights once a year and I said no. He said it was the only time during the year that he got “goddamn” drunk, like telling me this would make him even more appealing.

Short of running him over, I wasn’t sure how to get rid of this guy except to keep telling him that I hoped he had a nice New Year’s and perhaps he should ask Nancy the cashier to go with him to the Roadhouse (sorry Nancy). I don’t know whether he got the hint or was just cold, but he stopped his argument for why I should find him irresistible by simply saying, “I like to talk to pretty girls like you” and walked away.

Pretty girls like me. There are so many good and bad places I can go with that. “Pretty girls are not obligated to listen to old men with poor hygiene” versus “Did it kill me to give the guy three minutes of my time?” I’m going to go ponder this and why Britney didn’t wear underwear while I roast Brussels sprouts for dinner. This pretty girl leads a damn exciting life, doesn’t she? It beats getting goddamn drunk at the VFW playing poker with old men and wearing no underwear. At least I’m pretty sure it does.

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