Photo Courtesy of Federico Stevanin
This cute guy with sandy blonde hair and face stubble is about to hit on me in line at the supermarket. I can tell because he smiles and tries to catch my eye every time I turn around to pull another wet wipe from my purse, which is slumped over the child seat of the grocery cart between us. The child that should be occupying the child seat is instead clinging to my side; clawing at my neck because I took away the pack of Trident he lifted from the display where they keep the candy meant to torment the impulse shoppers. He’s three and doesn’t want to chew it, he just likes playing with shinny things, but he’s accidentally “stolen” before so I’d rather not risk it.
I steal a quick look back and he’s still staring. We make eye contact and he fumbles before he comments on how long the lines are. If his intention is to flirt with me, then this attempt fails. It’s so bad I almost turn back around, but it’s eight o’clock on a Friday night and my husband won’t be home until eleven and even when he arrives it won’t be anything more than a grunt and a scotch before he passes out to a Letterman lullaby. So I’m spending my evening trying to buy lettuce and gluten free, Envirokids cereal and sitting in a stalled line at the supermarket because the eighty-year-old woman two carts in front of me is paying with money she must have fished out from underneath couch cushions. Instead of turning my back I take the compliment offered by his smile. I tell him that I lived in L.A. for four years and I never sat in traffic like this.
He says I have the most beautiful eyes before lowering his, admitting his embarrassment for hitting on me at the checkout stand. At least it wasn’t the frozen food section, because that would be embarrassing. I tell terrible jokes when I’m nervous. He laughs. His jaw is strong and square and he’s built like a fireman or someone who has to do heavy lifting. He looks like everything I thought I wanted, everything I told myself didn’t exist, before I settled on my husband. He leans over the handle of his cart aiming for a better look at the contents of mine. His blonde hair is just long enough to fall over his eyes and I’m disappointed that they’re not focused on me for the first time since I entered the line. By now, the old woman ahead of me has finished counting out her $87.64 total in single bills, nickels and pennies and the line inches forward to the man clutching a stack of PennySaver coupons. When I turn back around, the cute guy’s eyes are back on me. He says his ex-wife was gluten free so he knows a lot of great recipes and maybe, if I’m interested, we can swap sometime.