A little vignette of a meat counter boy for your entertainment, since I’ve mentioned singleness and marriage and have had a weekend full of it.
Today I saw you again, meat counter boy. Yes, I saw you again as you stumbled all over yourself and asked me what I wanted and offered a sample of everything in your case. Yes, I heard you trying to serve me as I was interrupted by my friends, who just walked in and had to chat for what seemed way too long in front of your meat counter. Just hang on a second, while I juggle some decisions here. I know it seems like a painful eternity when I stand in front of your counter. I’ll take a half pound of roast beef. And yes, that will be all.
Oh, hello, there you are again outside the door on a smoke break. How convenient to take one now that I am exiting. This will never do. You know I don’t accept smokers, as boyfriends, you know. But you don’t know that yet. I could be your friend but I’m not sure you’d put up with the bother of being mine. Yes, goodnight and have a good weekend. I link my arm through my friends and we proceed deliberately toward home.
(time passes...I’m looking into my fridge.)
I need some meat for lunches this week. Drat! I really like the stuff the meat counter boy has. The quality and prices are the best but there is the matter of the meat counter boy. What to do? I refuse to pick an alternative meat counter on behalf of the bumbling boy. That would be quite cowardly. Well, today is the day perhaps. Perhaps he will cut to the chase, make and offer and I can turn him down kindly. But NO. I stand in front of his meat counter as he asks me my name and cuts me some meat. Now he becomes a meat counter boy with a name but a meat counter boy none-the-less. He may be the president of some prestigious club otherwise but that doesn’t matter much to me. I think the cover of this book is true to its contents and the answer is no.
Oh, there you are again, smoking a cigarette. What a coincidence? How incredibly awkward. What do I do? Maybe next time I’ll put on the bonnet, since the veil doesn’t show up so distinctly. No, that’s a cop out. Perhaps he just needs another week to cough up some courage. Patience, I tell myself, patience. I grit my teeth. I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m gonna have to say no again.
(time passes...I stand in front of the meat counter. Today is the day, I have determined.)
Hi, “XXXX” I say his name. I smile and try to look encouraging. “He needs a bit of fuel for the asking, right?!” Would you like to go for a drink sometime he asks. “Well, I don’t really drink,” I say. I do coffee though and such. I know I say this as I stand in a liquor store with a meat counter but well, I like the meat here mostly, I think to myself. “So, do you live around here,” I ask. I tell him I do. A bit of small talk and nothing more. Have a nice day etc. etc. Whew! We did it! The offer and the kind turn down. Now, I just have to remember his name for a time or two more. But we’re over the hump and all can return to normalcy.
(time passes...I’m looking at a pot of soup)
“It needs beef.” I say to myself. Where do I get the beef? You got it! Meat counter boy. Hope he’s adjusted to normalcy. I hope he figured it out. I hope I don’t get begging or something like that. A second turn-down would have to be more direct, I think. What if he asks me to coffee? Oh, that would be painful!...but manageable. I don’t have a chance to consider my options before I nearly collide with him as he was headed for the door behind me, that is…until he sees me and like a deer caught in the headlights, stops then turns heel and retreats to the back room behind the counter. I feel the awkwardness reach a new peak and wish for supernatural translevitation. I wait and wait, as no one serves me. It feels like an eternity, before he emerges again, perhaps a bit more composed, I don’t notice. He asks what I want and gives it to me. I flee, wondering if this will ever pass. I hate this feeling. I hate this feeling. I want to say no. I have to say no. But he wants me to say yes. He’s a nice person, I’m sure. He’s got good courage. That’s commendable. I wish I could fall out of attraction with me for him but I can’t. How awkward. How very, very awkward. I hope this passes soon.
It did pass and now my meat counter boy is again, merely that, a meat counter boy to me. Hopefully he is someone else’s dearest.