Earlier this evening, I was at the grocery store hunting and gathering in preparation for Christmas Eve dinner. I’d stopped by Starbucks beforehand, since I generally find myself freezing to death while shopping. This time, I came prepared.
I was getting through my list in record time, but mid-way through my spree, I decided to pull up a recipe on my iPhone to make sure I didn’t leave anything out of my cart. Sure enough, I was missing a bay leaf (why aren’t they sold in containers of, you know, one?). When I decided to press on, I rounded a corner and came upon three college dudes talking about — what else? Bacon.
As I maneuvered around them, I looked at one of the guys, mumbled a quiet “excuse me” since I’d broken up their lively debate, and carried on my way. Or so I tried.
“Hi,” he said, turning his attention away from his friends.
Oh sheesh. Great.
“Hello,” I responded, continuing to head down an aisle.
“How are you?” he asked, following me. His friends suddenly stopped talking and watched.
“Um…fine…?” I answered. By this time I was wondering if there was something on my person. Maybe I’d spilled coffee down the front of my shirt and didn’t realize it. Maybe my nose was running. Maybe my mascara had smudged. Something was definitely up.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Lauren…?” I sounded like I was lying.
“You’re pretty cute, Lauren,” Bacon Boy says.
“I’m pretty old,” I replied.
Side note: when anyone says my name and they’re clearly talking to me, it freaks me out. I don’t know why.
“So?” he said.
OK. Really? I think I started laughing at this point. I can appreciate the guy putting himself out there, whether or not he was serious, because that takes balls. And the last time someone approached me in such a ballsy manner, it was a woman who at first was fawning over my hair, then told me I had “great energy” and that I should give her a call sometime. Hm. Thanks, but no thanks.
“Is he bothering you?” one of Bacon Boy’s friends called over to me.
Before I could muster an answer, Bacon Boy asks, “So do you have a phone number?”
“Uh, no,” I said.
“No?” he asked skeptically.
“No,” I said again, clearly oblivious to the fact that my iPhone was in my hand.
“Hm. Well can I take you to coffee sometime?” he asked.
“No,” I said.
“Do you want to come out to the bars with us tonight?” he asked. I started laughing again. Such persistence.
“No, but thanks,” I said.
We all parted ways, and I promptly spent the next 20 minutes dodging them, covertly peeking around corners before fully tackling each remaining aisle.
I texted a friend of mine in NJ after the ballsy encounter to share the comedy of what had just happened. On my drive home, I got a response:
“Elope,” his text said.
It’s a funnier story if you knew said friend, as said friend — last time I checked — is not a fan of most unions. I suspected he had been drinking, or was in the process of.
“Nah, maybe next year,” I wrote back, and briefly pondered what life would be like if I eloped with a college-aged dude who I met in the bacon section. Seconds later, a response:
“Wtf? That was supposed to say “Wow,” not “Elope.” Stupid, funny autocorrect.”
Funny indeed. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone “out to the bars,” and I really did feel as old as I told Bacon.
Tonight I am thankful for a delightfully strange trip to Ralphs, for no eloping in my [immediate] future and for friends who can share and appreciate the ridiculousness of a situation from across the country.