I got hit on at the grocery store last night…again…and not in the good way.
First of all, the grocery store is not a place I go to meet people. It’s a place I go to buy food and the occasional inedible personal care product. So when I go to the grocery store, I tend not to give a shit about how I look. I’m one of those women who go grocery shopping in full belly dance regalia after a show, who leave yoga or dance class soaking in sweat and go to pick up cereal and milk on the way home, who throw on whatever clothes are closest and comfortable after lounging around at home waiting for traffic to die down after work so it won’t take the better part of an hour to get to the good supermarket fifteen minutes away. I’m one of those women who give funny looks to the other women who look like they spent two hours getting ready to push a cart across a cement floor. I sometimes get funny looks myself, but they don’t bother me. Because I don’t care. I’m too busy looking for Luna protein bars and coconut water to give a damn what you people think.
So you can imagine why romantic interest from the opposite sex is the last thing on my mind whilst trying to decide on a Greek yogurt flavor. I only seem to get hit on when it should seem least likely, which I guess is why it always takes me by surprise.
Alas, it is never a cute nerdy-looking fellow attempting to strike up a conversation via a clever comment about the available varieties of gluten free oatmeal. That would be flattering and might even make me think twice about brushing my hair or something before leaving the apartment in the future. No, I get the classic terrible pick-up lines sprung on me out of nowhere from men either old enough to be my father or too young to meet women at a bar.
Last night is a perfect example.
I’m speed-walking down the paper-products aisle in search of toilet paper so I can get to the register and get the hell home before it starts raining again, in my comfy capri yoga pants and ankle athletic socks with my chucks and an old t-shirt with bleach stains on it from wearing it while cleaning. There’s a rather large fellow—unhealthily large—who I’d peg at AT LEAST forty, at least–just standing there in front of the napkins with his cart taking up half the aisle. Being polite, I quietly say, “Excuse me,” in an attempt to get him to move his motherfucking cart out of my way so I can get by.
He nonchalantly moves his cart as slowly as humanly possible, looking me up and down like a side of pork hanging in a butcher’s shop window, and says:
“Excuse me, gorgeous. How YOU doin’?”
It looks funny when you read it, but the way he said it was creepy. I’m talking über creepy. Like, that was the second creepiest thing anyone has ever said to me (the first being from my brief internet dating fiasco when this guy sent me a message asking how I would feel about dating someone with a foot fetish). The creep factor made me just pretend I didn’t hear him as I tripled my pace to the end of the aisle.
Had it not been for the creepiness, I probably would have laughed in his face and asked, “How you doin’? How YOU doin’? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Once I stopped laughing, I might have instructed him on the following reasons why that approach only worked for Joey Tribbiani:
1) I am not an object, goddamn it. I do not appreciate having my figure so blatantly surveyed. If you are shallow enough to base your attraction solely on physical appearance, at least have the courtesy to look me over like nothing but a piece of ass when I can’t see you do it.
2) A comment about said physical appearance should not be the third word out of your mouth the first time you ever speak to me. Please see above. It’s one thing to politely tell a woman something to the effect of, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be creepy or sexist or anything, but I just wanted to let you know that you are very pretty.” That’s a confidence booster. Getting called “gorgeous” in such a suggestive tone–not to mention whilst looking like I just woke up from a nap, am quite obviously in a hurry, and have offered nothing more than a civility intended to get you the hell out of my way–is annoying at best.
3) Joey Tribbiani is a fictional character. He lived in a fictional television show where the rules of reality did not necessarily apply. You live in the real world, where women are people, too, with minds and hearts and passions, and not just breathing blow up dolls meant solely for your enjoyment.
But I mean, seriously. “How YOU doin’?” Seriously?
My advice to this gentleman, and anyone else who goes to the grocery store to pick up women: avoid cheesy/sleazy pick-up lines. Try striking up a conversation with a woman who’s buying the same thing as you, perhaps commenting on the quality or value if you can think of nothing else substantial to say. Women who are open to conversing with strangers in random public places will say something in reply that encourages the conversation to continue. Women who are just trying to get their dinner and get home will likely make some sort of polite reply and move on with their shopping—as long as you’re not being creepy. You can tell you’re being creepy when the woman in question either stares at you like your head is on fire or gets away from you as quickly as possible.
If you cannot think of anything BUT pick-up lines, deliver them with as much cheese as possible so she’ll think it’s some kind of joke. If she laughs, you’ve got a winner.
Seriously though, “How YOU doin’?” Has that ever actually worked for anyone? EVER?