On Tuesdays, I usually work at home in my PJs. On some days I get dressed, but just as often, I stay comfy all day long. I always wonder what my neighbors think when they are coming home at 5 pm and see me taking the trash out in my pink furry slippers and my notorious (and hideous) purple fleece pants.
After work, I get off my butt to go to aqua aerobics. I throw on my favorite hippie skirt over my swimsuit and put on some flip-flops. I mean, all I am doing is heading to the pool and back, right? Right!
But tonight I went to the grocery store on the way home. I piled all my groceries on the belt and the cashier told me that I could go to the lane next door, because that cashier wasn't busy.
I gestured at the 30 items I had just piled up like "No way I'm moving all this stuff."
"But she's open," said the cashier.
I just stood there. Then I noticed the new bag boy. He was gorgeous, with dark hair and tan skin and glowy hazel eyes.
He spoke to me in a Euro-accent and I noticed his nametag: Giancarlo. Ah, Giancarlo. Sigh. Dreams of holding hands on lounge chairs at St. Tropez danced in my head.
I didn't even mind that he had ridiculous Eurotrash faux designer sunglasses hanging off his apron.
"If I were 25 years younger and 100 lbs lighter, I would SO be right there," I thought, picking out a bikini in my mind.
Giancarlo was sweet as well. He talked to me as he bagged my groceries in such an engaging, gentle way. It was a super nice way to end the day. No, I did not obviously perv on him. He was about 23, fergoodnesssake.
Then I came home and made the mistake of looking in the mirror as I threw my wet swimsuit in the sink.
Mashed down hair from my swim cap, all piecey and goofy because I hadn't brushed it after the pool. Red eyes from chlorine. A wrinkly T-shirt I had found in my swim bag. Hippie skirt. I looked bad. I looked CRAZY.
It all became clear. The cashier wanted me to change lanes because she thought I was INSANE and she didn't want any part of me. (Seriously mentally ill people are sadly all too common in my neighborhood).
And Giancarlo was trying to make sure I didn't cause an incident by calming me in his soothing Euro-accent.
Yes, I make a lasting impression, all right. Just like the guy who collects stuffed animals in a shopping cart and then sets them on fire.
PS: Hint to panhandling guy outside: take off the iPod earphones. It makes it hard to hear the people you are hitting up AND makes them think unkindly thoughts like "Gosh, I would have bought an iPod but I had BILLS TO PAY."