Friday, March 19th, 2010
So, I have this neighbor – he’s an older man, probably in his late 60′s, maybe even 70′s. I sometimes run into him on the stairwell or in the parking lot, bringing in our groceries or whatever.
He’s always been super friendly. My front door is right at the top of the stairwell, so I often see him walk by through my ‘ice cube glass’ windows near my desk. When I moved in, he complimented me on the happiness my yellow hibiscus brought him when it bloomed. And I thought how nice it was that someone even noticed besides me. He looked like a nice old man, what I envision a “grandpa” to be.
Cut to a week or so later, when I’m tempted into downloading a Sex Offender Locator app for my iPhone. You can see where this is going. Grandpa indeed.
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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Last May, I moved into a new apartment complex. It’s kinda schmancy and overall, I have very little to complain about except perhaps the rent price and the dude downstairs who has a penchant for action movies and a deep, personal relationship with his surround sound. And maybe the Tacky Water People. And the Friendly Pedophile. But I digress.
When I moved in, I was given one covered parking space on the end, very close to my stairs. Score! To my right is parked a white Miata, circa 1992 or so. It’s in 1992 condition… not bad, but certainly not cherry.
The day after I moved in, while I was unloading things from my (2009) Matrix, a man in a pith helmet with the mullet flaps on the back sidles up to me with this hands clasped behind his back, like he was ice skating in a Rockwell painting.
“So you just moved in, huh?” he says.
“Yes, just yesterday,” I replied.
And then, with a weird knowing grin and the tone of someone hosting a children’s storytime, he said, “Ok, well, don’t you go dinging my car now.” (wink) “I keep a close eye on my baby,” gesturing to the Miata.
I laughed politely and ribbed him a bit back, assuming he was just trying to be cute. “It’s a deal. Wouldn’t want to mar such a classic!” Then I wished him a good day and off I went up the stairs.
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Thursday, March 19th, 2009
There’s a barista at the Starbucks I go to that is one of those people that you feel like you know from somewhere, but can’t put your finger on it and they always look at you knowingly, expectantly, like any minute you’ll remember who they are. But I never do.
She’s… unusual, I guess, is the best way to say it. Very friendly, but definitely an odd duck. She seems somewhat goofy when I talk to her, like I make her nervous. She seems to try really hard to be funny or clever and she often is a bit ‘familiar’ with me, which is why I always wonder if maybe I know her from somewhere.
For example, the first time I ordered from her went a little something like this…
Her: May I help you?
Me: Yes, I need a quad Venti extra hot soy cinnamon dolce latte, light whip, no foam, please.
Her: Do you need it or do you want it?
Me: *blink blink* I’m sorry, what? Oh… (insert courtesy laugh here) Sorry, I would like…
I laughed it off and dismissed it as an employee building rapport with their customer. Fine, fine. But then she did it two more times when I came in. I finally started skipping the pretense altogether and just saying the drink order so I don’t have to do that dance again.
She makes me a little nervous, to be honest, because of these weird exchanges, so I just smile and laugh and try to be friendly. She asked me point blank once, “Why are you laughing?”, while laughing herself then her eyes would look all around like a googly-eyed bobble head with a big grin. Now she’s taken to calling me “Giggles”. Giggles. And the other baristas have started writing it on my cup.
It’s gotten to the point now that I groan a bit inside when walk in and see her at the register. It makes me feel bad because I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice girl and she’s just trying to be friendly, but it makes me… uncomfortable, I guess. It doesn’t feel flirtatious, it feels insecure, like maybe she’s shy and overcompensating. You know in movies where the nerd talks to the cool kid and says completely dorky things that sound cool in their head, but come out like they ate paint chips as a kid? That’s usually me. I was always the nerd (at least in my own head), but this time, it’s like I’m the cheerleader or the football jock or whatever and she’s about to ask me to homecoming.
I hope she doesn’t read this blog, though it’s entirely possible. I ran into a girl I’d only seen on Flickr at Bath & Body Works once. And a girl at the grocery store asked me if I was Tenth Muse a few years back. So, its totally possible and I really wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
It’s so odd. I’d be flattered if it didn’t make me feel like she might boil my bunny.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Sunday morning I went to Target. That’s my usual Sunday morning destination. I like to get in there before it gets busy, when it’s still quiet and the shelves are full. It’s kind of like church, staring at rows upon rows of Glade CandleScents or fabric softener or whatever. This Sunday it was shampoo that had me enraptured. I was trying to decide between color-protection and curl-care when I was approached by a very tall, imposing, but non-threatening, Pacific-Islander looking guy with a wiley quasi-fro and a newspaper open in front of him.
“Excuse me”, he said, “Have you found Jesus?”
I said, smiling, “I wasn’t aware he was missing. Did you check with customer service?”
He kind of furrowed his brow for a sec, then his face burst into this huge grin and he said, “You know, that’s the best ‘no’ I’ve heard all day. Hey, do you know what time the Eagles game starts?” He didn’t miss a beat.
“I’m not a sports fan, really” I said, as I started to inch down the aisle in that “yeah, great, it’s been real, best of luck to you” kind of way.
And he replies, “That’s what Sundays are made for!” and walked off.
I never did figure out why he had the newspaper open in front of him. I’m guessing it was the sports section, I just didn’t want to look.
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
Last night, my friend mikey came over to watch Project Runway with me and we ran out to grab some takeout before it started. We stopped at Rite Aid to pick up some beverages and Rocky Road before heading back to watch Heidi Klum walk around being gorgeous.
The line at this Rite Aid is always slow and for some reason, people always form one big line instead of lining up at each register (there are eight registers), then the next checker that is available takes the next customer. Well, last night, there was an Asian dude in front of us holding two bottles of wine, a crotchety guy in a yellow shirt holding a box of Tucks or something, this Isaac Hayes (R.I.P.)-type guy (who we saw tip his hat at someone earlier — I love that), and then 3 registers with customers already being helped.
One cashier finished and called out, “I’ll take the next person!” and Crotchety Yellow Shirt and his hemorrhoid pads tried to dash out behind Isaac Hayes Guy, but Isaac Hayes Guy was no fool and he cut Crotchety off, taking his rightful place at the counter. Crotchety grumbled and griped, but shuffled back into line, ahead of the Asian Wine Drinker. While this was going on, a strapping middle-aged, tank-top wearing homosexual (not that his sexuality is relevant, but it paints a picture and I happened to be in the gayborhood) with a cart full of ammonia bottles and paper towels pulls up in line behind us.
Asian Wine Drinker keeps looking around the store, turning around and looking past us, past Ammonia Mo, all over the place. But before I could ponder what he was looking for, Isaac Hayes Guy was finishing his transaction.
This is where I kind of lost my cool.
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