When I moved back to Blahsvillage and started doing the grocery shopping for my parents I had no idea just how uncomfortable being at the grocery store could get. I really love grocery shopping, it’s a time to be by myself and think or not think at all.
Well, I went pretty frequently because I usually just got a few things to make whatever meal was going to be that night and the next and nothing more. It’s then that I noticed, after a few times, that there was one particular grocery guy that went out of his way to say hello to me and ask me how I was doing. I thought nothing of it, figured he was just nice to everyone, and went about my business… until one day I noticed the look on another lady’s face. She was trying her best to hide a smile and a little laugh. When I said my usual, “Fine, thank you.” she turned to me and said, “Could he be more obvious?” and I just shrugged, smiled, and rolled my eyes like I got that all the time. But now my eyes were open to it and I was sensitive to his attention.
One particular night I was on my cell phone as I walked in, talking to Keithy, and grocery guy literally ran over to me to give me a cart. In his broken english he asked me something and I didn’t quite hear him, so I turned to ask him what he said, and he did his usual, “How are you?” and I said my usual, “Fine, thank you.” and added a “You?” to be polite. He answered and then I nodded uncomfortably under his scrutiny and then went about my business. Keith says, “Who was that?” and I said, “I donno, some grocery guy. He’s always so… in my face.” He says, “OOoOooo… you have a boooyfriend. What’s his name?” I said, “I donno, bully.” and laughed. Keith said, “I bet he thinks of you as his little American flower. Sooo precious.” and I laughed and we kept talking.
I then started to try and avoid his gaze, he checks people out very close to the exit so he’s hard to avoid. Like,… oh.. this reciept is sooo interesting. Hmm…I should study it! But after a few times of that, he started calling out to me. Contrary to how I must come off here, I can be pretty shy and it’s embarrassing to me when someone is so forward. When ever my mom joins me even SHE notices his extra attention.
Well, one night it was out of control to the point it felt like he was stalking me. As I walked through the store he seemed to be where ever I was going. It could have been I was super sensitive to him because of all the unwanted attention, but I highly doubt that was it. I started to dread going to the store and whenever I would see him I would make it a point to not make eye contact even if he called out to say hello.
So during my brother Van’s wedding, one evening pretty late, I took my brother Keith and his wife to the store to get some things and as we were checking out I was telling my brother about how this guy always makes me so uncomfortable. My brother was all about being protective and we looked but he didn’t seem to be there. Just as we’re finishing checking out I spot him walking up to his register and I make sure my brother and his wife know who he is. So my brother the “quick thinker” says as we pass “Jen, did you get those genital warts* all medicated?” and my face turns red because not only does the grocery guy turn and look, but so do like 10 other people who happen to be in the general area. I started laughing and couldn’t think of a response. This is when my sister-in-law Michelle decides to pipe up. “You don’t have to be embarrassed, we’re family.” We walked out without my being able to think of any kind of response, and since that day I have not heard a single hello from grocery guy. Not a one.
Of course the grocery people likely want to wear rubber gloves when they’re around me now, but I’ve not had a problem with the grocery guy ever since.
** I do not have any STDs, thankyouverymuch.