[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
i hate it when that happens
i met up with some friends last night to have some thai food and some laughs. two of my favorite things in the whole world together in one place…too much to resist.
i actually spent more than 30 seconds in front of the mirror before heading out the door for some reason. i thought, “hey, no reason you can’t look great while enjoying your larb gai…let’s put just a little effort into this.”
so, i was having a good hair day, which is a big deal since the halle berry debacle. and, i smelled good. and i was rocking the black turtleneck sweater, which is always a good thing [it is this writer’s opinion that a turtleneck sweater in either black or navy blue is the most universally flattering piece of clothing available to humankind. there are still five shopping days before christmas…do not squander this knowledge i have given to you.] and i slid into my bootcut pants that, when worn with my oh-yeah boots make me feel like my legs are longer than my entire 5’ 5 1/2” body. topped it all off with my oh-so-cute-even-if-it’s-not-actual-navy-surplus peacoat and a jaunty scarf, and stepped back to take a look at my work.
oh yeah. i looked like i could have been one of those obnoxious chicks from that even more obnoxious gap christmas ad with all the models pretending to be singers and lip synching to that annoying version of love train and flailing around in their striped scarves. [note to gap: just fucking bring back will kemp. dump these losers and fucking bring him back. his ass is infinitely more festive than these chicks with their striped scarves. trust me.] yeah, i could totally be one of them. except i’m not a size 2. and i couldn’t wear any of those hats because they would cover my face and then you wouldn’t be able to see me lip synch. anyway, i was feelin’ mighty fine, people.
after dinner, we said our good-byes and i decided to pop into the next-door marshalls for a look-see. i got my christmas bonus yesterday, so i thought i might be able to shore up my welfare christmas gift list. in addition to a tube of blistex for everyone, maybe i could throw in a pair of socks. nothing is too good for my family.
there are two marshalls stores near my home. they both suck. the less-sucking of the two i refer to as “united nations marshalls” because you can hear any number of languages spoken there, but if you want to speak to someone in english, you’re gonna need those puffy headphones and an interpreter. even the signs are not in english, and i swear that the last time i was in there the manager's name tag read boutros boutros-ghali . the more-sucking of the two, the one i ducked into last night, i refer to as “crack whore marshalls” because it is so dark and dirty in there, that i wouldn’t be surprised to turn a corner into ladies’ shoes and run into a crack ho firing up a pipe right there in the middle of the size 7 loafers.
so, while i’m not optimistic that there will be any clean socks at the crack whore marshalls, i duck in anyway. i head straight for the bath & body stuff, as though my dad would really be interested in finding a tube of shea butter body lotion under the tree with his name on it. but, i’m a sucker for bath & body products, so off i go. i have to smell everything and that requires me to take off my gloves, shove them in my pocket and put down my little bag o’ thai leftovers. after i've smelled pretty much every item in the section, i head over to the luggage section because if there’s anything i like almost as much as body butter, it’s a nice italian leather bag. as i’m checking out just such a bag, i notice that a guy is standing rather close to me.
a cute guy.
and he seems to be looking at...me.
i immediately panic. it’s been a looong time since i had to figure out how to handle a cute guy who might be getting ready to chat me up. it's not that there haven't been guys who tried to chat me up over the last six years...it's not that bad for me, people. i just mean that it’s been six years of politely letting chatter uppers know that i wasn’t chatting back. that i was, you know, not available. i always liked that, because it was a nice little ego stroke, but you didn’t have to manage the situation. know what i mean? you got the bonus of feeling attractive without the pain of actually having to engage in any sort of courtship ritual.
in an effort to buy myself some time and avoid any chatting up before i have devised a plan of action, i immediately head for the shoe department.
but, lo…as i round the corner toward the boots, there he is. trying to look all nonchalant. our eyes meet and he looks away sheepishly and darts around the corner.
now i’m sweating it. i still don’t have a plan. all the blood in my body is working on digesting rice noodles right now – i can’t even muster up a standby list of witty remarks i might be able to break out. oh, this is going badly.
i head off to housewares, trying to hide out in the gourmet foods corner.
as i pretend to look interested while browsing the surprisingly extensive chutney selection, he rounds the corner again. he sees me see him and immediately picks up a total crap wall sconce, making an effort to look engrossed.
i notice that he has several items in his hand. a peppermill [he likes to cook…that’s a good sign.]. a small jar of bath salts [in touch with his feminine side…not afraid to enjoy a nice bath. good.]. and what appears to be a lighthouse candleholder [okay, so he’s not perfect. who is?].
he’s still giving me that sideways look, kind of sheepish. he looks a bit uncomfortable, which makes me feel a bit more relaxed. i think to myself, "okay, he doesn’t do this kind of thing very often, maybe he won’t notice how out of practice i am at flirting. this could turn out okay. man, i love these bootcut pants. i’m wearing these every day for the rest of my life. is there anyone on my list i could give chutney to? what, exactly, is chutney anyway?"
i head toward the registers, thinking that's where he’ll say something. he’ll get in line behind me and make a comment about “gee, these holiday lines are a nightmare, huh” and i’ll toss my hair and laugh and make some sort of stunning reply…i can do this. this is going to be fun.
i look around casually while i wait in line. no sign of peppermill boy, which is now my pet name for him. i mean, i’m sure i’ll have a better pet name for him once we get to know each other better, but for now, i don't have much to go on, so it’s peppermill boy.
no sign of him. hmmm. maybe he’s formulating a plan. lining up his own witty remarks.
then, i see him. he’s waiting by the door. no bag in his hand. could it be that he wasn’t even interested in buying those things?! could it be that he was just carrying them around so he wouldn’t look so obvious while following me around, trying to work up the nerve to say something to me?! oh, peppermill boy, you're adorable!
i make my purchase and head toward the door. i see him look at me. “here it comes,” i think. “breathe…relax…no pressure…you can do this.”
he steps toward me.
“hi,” he says.
“hi,” i smile.
“um, this is sort of awkward,” he begins.
“you have no idea,” i think.
“i need to ask you to come with me. i'm with loss prevention, and i need to check your bag.”
i am so not a bad ass pseudo gap commercial girl.
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