07 September 2010

what not to say to a girl

I got hit on at a grocery store on Labor Day by the guy who manages the frozen food section.  It was one of those bulk grocery stores, and I was ordering $900 worth of baked goods.

Don't be distracted by that tidbit.  It's really not a very interesting reason of why I was doing that. 
An interesting reason for that would be:  I was attending a picnic where we were trying to break the Guinness World Record for most cheese danishes eaten while hula hooping. Or roller skating.  And I was in charge of bringing the danishes, a job I would enjoy.

I know:  if I didn't want you to be sidetracked by the massive quantity of croissants and danishes and bagels and pound cake I was getting, why did I mention it?  This is probably what you're thinking right now, and I'm telling you to stop thinking about danishes and $900 and focus on the point here.  I was hit on at a grocery store.

And it started in the worst way possible, the way that can lead only to the girl rebuffing any advances.

The guy said, as he looked appreciatively {in a creepy way} at me—standing there with a box of cream puffs in my hands—"So, how old are you, anyway?"

I'm not one to make qualms and hedge around my age, so I told him.

"Gosh, you sure look good for 28."

Now, see, I think that was meant to be a compliment.  I'm sure he thought he was saying a nice thing.  But the underlying message is:  Wow.  I can't believe you're still able to walk and lift that box of cream puffs at your age.  It implies that 28 is the new 68, when I thought that 28 was the new 18.

{Note:  I don't actually agree with that, but there's been a little ripple in the calm water of the 20-something world in response to a New York Times article on how 20-somethings these days are not growing up like they should and are, in fact, just in some sort of extended adolescence.  My 9 to 5 job and mortgage beg to differ.}

To further botch the would-be compliment, Frozen Food Man kept going.  "It's just that you don't look 28.  I mean...um, you look like you're 20.  I would never believe that you're 28.  You know, I'm 28."

He said that last bit in a tone that implied:  oh my word, we have so much in common!  Both born in the early 80s!  I bet you watched The Reading Rainbow and had Book-it programs at your school!  Plus, we're both in this grocery store today!  It's kismet or fate or written in the stars!  We are the same age and so we are meant to be together.  Forever.

And yes, I get that it's actually kind of him to say I don't look my age.  I'm sure someday, I'll long to be mistaken for someone much younger, but it was his opening volley—you look good for 28!—that stopped me from smiling too broadly at his compliments.

You can probably guess the rest of the story.  He built up to, "So, what are you doing tonight?"

"I'm having dinner with a friend's family."

"Is it your boyfriend's family?"


Ok, I lied.

Ok, that's bad.

Ok, maybe I should've given the guy a chance.  I don't want to make snap judgments and generalizations about anyone, but obviously I did with Frozen Food Man.  I sized him up and decided he was not my size.

I have this nagging tic of a thought that surfaces in situations like this one:  maybe, even though I'm drawn to the suave, Cary Grant type, the advanced degrees type, the well-read-well-traveled type, the works at a desk yet has a creative side type, maybe I don't need that type.

Maybe I need a works with his hands and isn't tripped up by his own intellectual pretensions type.  A farmer, say.  Or the guy who manages the frozen food section at a bulk grocery store.

I don't know the answer to that, obviously.  It's just something I wonder in passing moments:  is my filter filtering out too many people as I play Goldilocks {a brunette Goldilocks but the try-quickly-and-reject idea is there}?

But for now, at least I know I look good for 28.


  1. Look at the bright side. At least he wasn't 45.

  2. No, you were right to blow him off. Think about dating that man. You'd have to deal with responses like that to all sorts of things. You'd roll your eyes so much you'd probably pull something and go blind. His job is probably pretty mindless. I imagine he's had a lot of time to think of a better pick up line, yet that's the best he's come up with. I support your decision to lie about your non-existent boyfriend.

  3. I still need to know why you ordered so many baked goods.

  4. Ah, Ashley, I told you not to focus on that detail :)

    It was for church. We really like our baked goods at my church.



Related Posts with Thumbnails