A few weeks ago, I had an awkward encounter at the local Target. Well, let’s face it, most of my encounters at Target are awkward, because I’m so in the zone when I’m there. I’m there to check things off my To Do list, people. Socializing throws me off.
But you know me. I get especially awkward when it comes to flirting situations. I don’t get hit on that often, and when I do, I either (a) don’t realize it or (b) get extremely uncomfortable and nauseous. It’s basically impossible for me to play it cool.
So there I was, all by my lonesome, in the hair product aisle searching for dry shampoo, when suddenly, I heard a voice behind me. “Excuse me, miss,” it said. “Can you help me with something?”
I turned around to face an attractive young man with slightly broken English. “Yes?” I replied.
He pulled out a handwritten list on lined paper. “My sister, she is in India. She asked me to send her things from the US in the mail. She wants – body scrub? What is this?”
“Oh, it’s just like soap with beads in it. Do you know what brand she wants?” I responded.
“No, just says ‘body scrub’,” he answered.
“Ok, um, I guess I’ll show you,” I said. The man followed me to the next aisle, where I showed him the body scrub selection. He chose one, thanked me, and then asked me to dinner.
“UHHHH, WOW. Thanks, hee hee, umm… Wow. Yeah, um…” I stammered. I just get so awkward in these situations. “Um, sorry, I have a, err, boyfriend. [High-pitched laugh.] Good luck with your sister’s list, though!”
Quickly, I rushed down the aisle and headed for the register.
A few weeks later, I was at Target again. This time, I was scouring the wine selection. I had just plucked a bottle of red off of the shelf and was staring at the label when I heard a familiar voice. “Excuse me, miss. Is that a good bottle of wine?”
I turned around to see the same man from a few weeks before staring at me. He didn’t seem to recognize me.
“UMMMM, errr, I don’t know. I’ve never had it before. Haha,” I answered. I turned my back to him and started to sneak away. I had a feeling I knew where this conversation was heading.
“Do you prefer red or white wine?” he asked, following me down the aisle.
“Ugh, um, red,” I answered. Nausea was starting to set in.
“Maybe you’d like to get some wine with me tonight?” he said.
“Um, not really,” I snapped quickly, wanting to get away. “Ohh, OK, well, I have to go now. BYE.” Quickly, I scurried down the aisle to safety.
Which brings me to last week. I went to the local grocery store after work to purchase a few things for dinner. On my way to the register, I remembered I had to pick up a birthday card for a friend of mine.
There I was, searching for the right card (a perfect combination of humor and sentimentality), when I heard: “Excuse me, miss. Are there any funny cards over here?”
My stomach dropped. It can’t be! Is it? I’m on the opposite side of town. Certainly he wouldn’t shop here, too? I turned around.
There he was. My ol’ pal from Target. And again, he didn’t recognize me.
“Ummm…?” I stammered, my face flashing sheer panic.
“I said, any funny cards here?” he tried again.
“UHHH NO,” I said a little too loudly, shoving the card I was holding back into the rack. Without another word, I turned around and made a beeline for the register.
I’m beginning to think that this guy does nothing but hang around grocery stores all day, preying on young, beautiful, funny, gorgeous women who are just innocently trying to buy dry shampoo/wine/cards and continue on with their days. I mean, if he’s hit on me three times, there’s no telling how many other women he’s chatted up. No woman in Indy is safe!
Or maybe the issue is me. Maybe I just overreact when I feel uncomfortable. Maybe he’s a really nice, socially awkward guy. Or maybe he’s a serial killer.
Worst of all, my friend’s birthday is tomorrow, and wouldn’t you know it – I still don’t have a birthday card. Crap.