Tuesday, at a gas station in northern New Jersey:
“You’re the most cheerful person I’ve seen all day,” said the young, unshaven, and mysteriously partially-silver-lipped gas attendant.
“Guess it’s been a slow day, then,” I countered, smiling.
“Yeah,” he agreed. “I had a guy today asking if I could get him weed for his 82 year old mother. Guess it helps her with stuff.”
Okay. “That’s common with a lot of illnesses.”
“And we had to put three of our dogs down this week.”
Instant ping for me. “I’m so sorry!”
“They were way too aggressive. One of them bit someone.”
Flag! Three of your dogs are aggressive? They’re not the problem. “That’s rough. Pets are like family. It’s hard to have to say goodbye.” Awkward pause, which of course I am desperate to fill. Because I’m me. Ugh. “We just lost our nineteen year old cat a few weeks ago.”
“Wow. That sucks.”
Pause. “Yes.” My gas tank can not possibly be this large. It’s a CRV, for pity’s sake.
“If it makes you feel any better, I thought you were my age when you first pulled in.” Before I saw you were a wizened hag. “And until I saw you were wearing a wedding ring, I was still totally going to hit on you.”
Thank you for your honesty?
“Unless your husband isn’t that great…”
“He’s sort of the best. Impossible to live up to. Is that my card? Great. Thanks. Cheers!” *vrooom*
Today, at the local fish market/deli:
I’d gone in for the reputedly excellent fish selection, but no luck. My own fault. It was late in the day. Still, the meats looked good and are locally sourced, so I opted for the pork loin. Refusing to acknowledge I’m clueless about portions and not willing to show weakness by asking for help, I declared, “a pound and a half!” and ended up with a tiny, adorable cut of the pork*. As the gentleman was ringing me up, he looked at the parcel. Back to me. “How many is this feeding?”
“Two,” I replied.
“Should be fine. You don’t look like you eat much.”
I blinked. A lot. There was a faint roaring in my ears. I couldn’t quite form a proper response; I was toggling between 1. hahahahahahahaha! You have NO IDEA! and 2. thank you?
I stammered something, because I’m really not great when feeling awkward (which is almost always), and all but ran back to my car.
One of these days I will figure out basic human interaction, no matter how awkward. Until then, I’m taking it moment to moment.
*it ended up being the perfect size for dinner for two, PLUS leftovers for my sweetie’s lunch tomorrow. Nailed it!