In the epic film Sixteen Candles, the Geek and his two friends, Cliff and Bryce, go to a senior party at totally hot Jake Ryan’s house. They try to fit in and look cool despite the fact that they could not be more out of place. They stroll through the living room into another room where there is a beer can pyramid on a table. The Geek leans on the table and, of course, knocks the whole thing down. The Geek looks at Bryce and says, “Very nice. We’re here five minutes…I’m at a loss.” He throws up his hands and walks away. As the beefy football guys begin to close in, Bryce then looks at Cliff and says, “Real smooth, Cliff.” Then he walks away. And then it’s just poor Cliff and the messy pile of beer cans.
I had my own smooth move today at Trader Joe’s. I was checking out and got into Jacob’s line. That’s what his nametag said, Jacob. There were two people in front of me, so I had plenty of time to check him out. What else would I do? I can’t look at the shelves next to the checkout line. Last time I did that I almost bought a box of lemon cookies, and once before, I did buy a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels. So there’s no looking for me.
So I studied Jacob. He was very cute. He had a little bit of facial hair and short-cropped dark hair. He actually looked like Jacob from Twilight but with a little Orlando Bloom mixed in; like Jacob but more European or more Emo. He seemed very friendly. He was chatting up the elderly couple, talking about different wines they might try in addition to the ones they were buying. So, by the time he was finishing up checking out the woman in front of me, I was totally in love with him. I was already planning our destination wedding. And this may seem strange, but it’s far healthier for me than a box of cookies.
I had it all going for me. I had actually showered and was wearing an outfit that matched. I had dried my hair and put on make-up even. And, best of all, everyone in front of me and behind me was much uglier than me. The lady in front of me was at least 50 and had a mole on her face. And the lady behind me had a lot of acne. So, things were looking good for me to shine like a star. It all started well. He greeted me, and I returned the greeting. And he finished scanning my items (and that’s not a euphemism for something dirty) but then, well, I was me. And this is what I said to Cute Jacob:
Cute Jacob: “(as he’s bagging my groceries) So, is this your last stop?”
Me: “Yep. I’m headed home now.”
Cute Jacob: ” Sweet. You can go home and relax and enjoy some of your food.”
Me: “(awkward chuckle) Yeah, and try not to eat it all at once.”
Yep. “And try not to eat it all at once.” That was the lasting impression I left on Cute Jacob, that I am some kind of food whore or fatty who can’t stop stuffing her face. OMG. What is wrong with me? No wonder I am still single. I couldn’t have thought of ANYTHING else to say? Not “Sounds good” or “I’m so tired, I may just go straight to the couch” or even “Yep”??? Any of those would have been better. To Cute Jacob’s credit, he laughed, and I can only hope he took it as a joke. Not that it really matters; we were just two ships passing in the night. But then again, maybe he was my soulmate and I’ve lost him because of my smooth moves. I could only think of Cliff and the pile of beer cans as I walked out of Trader Joe’s, head down in shame.