“You never know...You might meet someone in the Whole Foods”
To every friend who has lobbed this stupid phrase at me, this is for you.
One afternoon recently in Los Angeles I found myself in the Whole Foods which, incidentally, is where I always am come 6 PM if I don’t have dinner reservations. My evening Whole Foods ritual consists of wandering aimlessly through the produce and prepared foods evaluating what I can eat that will not make me gain weight or weep from starvation. It’s a tightrope walk. As I was making my third lap around the salad bar I sensed that a tall gentleman was staring at me.
And why shouldn’t he be staring? I’m spectacular in a dirty tank top, old musical theater hoodie, and sweaty bun hair. “Hi,” he said. “Uh, hi,” I said. “How are you?” Trying to be cute and chipper I responded, “I’m fine, thank you.”
Well, that was interesting. A man has smiled and spoken to me in the flipping Whole Foods. I felt a rip in the space-time continuum and I began to wonder...Did I just walk away from my future husband?
I queue up in the checkout line and silently dare Rico Suave to speak again as I unload my haul of quinoa, blue cheese, and almond milk. He smiles and says, “Wow, that looks interesting.” I think it probably looks like I have an eating disorder so I cover with “Yea, wouldn’t it be weird if this was my dinner!” (totally my dinner). He exchanged a few more sentences of small talk and then took off while giving me a long look and really smiling. A normal person’s radar might have flashed, but I’m not that bright.
I paid for my goods and trotted toward the car. There he was, sitting serenely at an outdoor table enjoying his freshly assembled box of salad. He smiled again. By now the wheels of my not-well-functioning brain were already turning.
What happened during the next 10 minutes is a rapid-fire succession of snap decision making and actions I would like to take back. I drove out of the parking lot thinking, “Would it be insane to go back and give this guy my number?” Obviously yes, comma but. Maybe that WAS, in fact, my future husband and my mom will be mad if I blow her opportunity to plan another wedding.
I circle the block, wheel back into the parking lot, and spy the dude heading to his car. I sling my car into park, jump out, and approach him like a really peppy stalker.
“Excuse me, HI!! This may be the single weirdest thing I’ve ever done...” (not even close). And as he turns around, the magnitude of my miscalculation is immediate. Let me simply say that I had grossly misjudged his visage.
I have thrown myself in front of a crazy-eyed hybrid of Ted Cruz and Gary Busey in need of serious dental work and dressed like an escapee from The Book of Mormon. But the train is already barreling down the tracks. “So yea, um, you were nice...and uh, you were smiling at me...and I just thought... you know, maybe he’s nice...so...well, uh...I’m just gonna give you my number.” I felt .2% better after I had gotten it all out. Kind of like when you’re really drunk and you manage to throw up. Better but still absolutely horrible.
He moves too slowly for any person who is not in a cult. He looks at the card and says, “Well, Cat huh? I’m Nathan.” I am now convinced that this is all going to end in abduction. 5 hours from now I will be chained to a wall in the presence of some guy named Larry who is holding a syringe and claiming to be Jesus Christ.
“Aw this is really sweet. Give me a hug.” Oh god. Extricating yourself from a hug from Nathan is as difficult as removing gum from your shoe. And as fun. While I am trying to peel free I throw down some small talk because like any successful moron I am trying to end the encounter by indefinitely prolonging it. “So do you work around here?” (OMG! Stop talking and run!) “Well I actually work in Orange County ... “ As Nathan drones on I happen to glance down at his left hand. A wedding ring = my salvation. “Oh! Wow, ok, so you’re married. Oh my gosh, so sorry, I totally missed that.” I snatch back my card, unglue my feet from the ground, and briskly back away while spouting off an unintelligible string of
And then I fell over the hood of a Prius. A full body roll over. In this type of desperate escape situation you don’t have time to watch where you are going. I am legendary for being a very slow driver. But I clocked out of the Whole Foods parking lot faster than anyone who ever drove on the Talladega Superspeedway. On the drive home I began the painful process of examining all of my life choices.
I am not asking for much, only that I end up as the third, possibly fourth, trophy wife to some aged billionaire. Or at least that I stumble across a man who has held a job in his adult life. People, the Whole Foods is not a pickup spot.
So ya’ll can all just shut up now.