It’s Friday evening at Lucky’s in my little beach town. I’m ducking in for eggs, milk and ice cream. Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday. I need to bake a cake, and she asked for a TV dinner for supper.
As I turn down the frozen food aisle, a tall man with a shaved head, wearing a black wool coat, looks at me and then looks at me again. He is attractive and younger. I remind myself that I am in a small town, and to him, I am a new face.
The tall man comes down the aisle where I am looking for Beef Merlot in a box. He opens the case two doors down. This is awkward. I don’t want to meet him. I didn’t brush my teeth before I ran out to the store. I didn’t put on any lipstick. He’ll get too close and see the wrinkles around my eyes and the old-lady neck that is making me rethink decorative scarves.
I want to live the fantasy from afar, flattered that he turned the corner, but I want to walk out with my four items and disappear back to my boring little life.
Maybe it I’d had a glass of wine. Maybe if we’d been somewhere where he could’ve ask me to dance. In a dark bar where everyone looks better.
But with the bright lights over the Healthy Steamers case, I am feeling neither young nor sexy nor even flirty.
Flirting involves witty repartee and flashing of aging teeth. I am tired. I don’t have anything clever to say. The attractive man goes away. I am safe.
I grab the beef merlot and beef teriyaki TV dinners and head to self check-out. I smile as I empty my shopping bag. A box of Thin Mints is at the bottom from the Girl Scouts out front.
Note to self, if you want to meet men in the tiny beach town, hit the TV dinner aisle on a Friday might around 5:30 p.m.
The next morning I see a black mustache hair (a la Big Fat Greek Wedding) on my face in the morning beach-town light. Thank God I didn’t chat up the tall bald dude.
I NEVER buy frozen TV dinners, but maybe I will think about it the next time I’m in my favorite beach town.
If I would’ve put on lipstick like I thought about but didn’t do, I would’ve caught no one’s eye. Ditto for brushing my teeth.