I was never the girl that boys flirted with; I’m not the kind of woman that men hit on. Maybe they don’t find me appealing; maybe they can sense that I’m not interested. Who knows. (And I’m not complaining. I like it this way.) It doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it takes me by surprise and when it’s a conversation worth retelling, it makes me laugh. There’s just something so awkward and impersonal about it. And desperate.
I enjoy wandering into a story waiting to be told. And the Wal-Mart parking lot is full of stories waiting to be told. Take yesterday for example.
I’m pushing my groceries out to my van, thinking about the fact that I’ve just stolen a bag of greenleaf lettuce by mistake and deciding it would be simpler to pay for an extra one next week instead of going back in to take care of it now when I’m stopped by the sight of an older man waving energetically at me from the passenger seat of an SUV.
Nothing about his vehicle, face or voice is familiar, so I lift up my sunglasses and squint at him for any hint of who this person might be or how I know him. Here’s our conversation with some of my thoughts as a bonus:
Me: Do I know you?
Him: How are you doing?
Me: Great! How are you?
Him: I bet you’re enjoying this weather.
Me: I am. It’s perfect!
Him: Which high school did you go to?
Me: Okay, I don’t know him. He’s mistaken me for someone else. Uh… I went to school down in North Carolina.
Him: Oh. I bet you liked it down there, didn’t you?
Me: Why? Don’t I look happy here? Yeah… I did…
Him: I was gonna try to get all the women and girls from North Carolina to come up and take part in a rasslin’ match… if you’re interested…
Me: He hasn’t mistaken me for anyone! He’s hoping I’m a trashy woman! (after laughing loud and hard:) Well, good luck with that.
Him: If you’re interested…
Me: No, I’m really not interested in that.
Him: (in a tone of voice that could almost be described as pleading:) If you wanna…
Me: exit stage right and laugh a lot, glad there’s a vehicle parked between us so he can’t watch me unloading my groceries.
Maybe I should have been offended, but the mental picture of my mother, aunts and all my other female friends and relatives in North Carolina swarming up to Kentucky to take part in a “rasslin’ match” was really just too much. That poor old guy. He had no idea who he was talking to.
Probably my favorite parking lot conversation in a long time.