By Erin Bush
One of those fairytale, Lifetime Original Movie moments happened to me on Sunday. One of those moments that spark a whirlwind romance into happiness and babies and white picket fences. A moment that sends friends into fits of jealousy when you tell the story at your wedding and any other time someone asks you how you met your partner.
It started as a typical weekend day for me: roll out of bed around 9:30 in the morning with a mild hangover, idly brush my teeth, take an Advil and chug a glass of water. Then slowly roll back into bed and flip open my laptop to discover the world isn’t ending, and promptly close it — along with my eyelids.
About 10:00 I am finally ready to greet the world with the Advil having kicked in as the commercial indicates, put on some sweatpants, tie my hair back and avoid looking in the mirror at all costs. After grabbing coffee from the café around the block and start to have an attitude that reflects that of a normal human being I look in the fridge to discover I have no food. Eyeroll.
Still in my sweatpants and not yet having finished my cup of coffee, I head down to Trader Joe’s. I have now added sunglasses to my ensemble based on the horrified looks people gave me in the café. Well, they didn’t really give me horrified looks – I just imagine when I left the baristas looked at each other like, “Oh god…”
I head straight to the produce section. As I round the corner, bee-lining for the avocados, I hear “Hey there, how ya doin’?” To which, I blindly look up and say, “Fine thanks, how are you?” completely ignoring the response and continue to focus on the avocados. I shop around collecting other goodies for the week, bouncing from veggie display to fruit display, checking out the refrigerated section, all the while seeing out of the corner of my eye someone mimicking my path. Two aisles later, as I am aggressively zig-zagging from one side of the aisle to another, mostly to confirm my suspicions, he finally pulls his cart in front of me and says, “Hey, you from around here?” I finally look up to see his smiling face, and say that I have lived here a couple years. I come to find out, without questioning, that he just moved here from Atlanta and scored a job “right quick” at Alcatraz.
Glancing him over, I quickly note his illegible job-stopper tattoo on the side of his neck and think, Oh, must be nice to work in a place so similar to a place you may have been mandated by the courts to call home. I think he also came complete with knuckle tats and a certain… er… gang-banger-swagger that I just don’t jive with. Plus, I looked like crap, he must have very poor judgment.
We shared a little polite conversation about having done a tour of Alcatraz with my mother some time ago, and then he asked if I’d be interested in “talkin’ sometime, or somefin’, ya know get to know each other.” I politely declined, saying that I was flattered but not interested. I’m not rude to someone even if I clearly know that I won’t hit it off with them. Also, clearly I am a bit shallow, don’t get me wrong, but I did it for my own protection – potentially, future witness protection. In this case, I realize his job-stopper does double duty as a date-stopper as well. So hmm, he’s an overachiever, and maybe I should reconsider…