Mags: "Mama! That man was a stranger. You shouldn't talk to strangers."
Me: "I was trying not to, Mags, but he kept talking."
Mags: "Then run away and tell an adult!"
I have a way with men. It's incredible actually. A talent, if you will. Just my presence makes them flock to me. Grocery stores, local coffee shops, in the parking lot of Walmart....wherever. There's no holding them back. Of course, they are men that fall only in the 60+ age range, or as I affectionately call, The Early Bird Special Club.
I've become wary of these men over the years, though, due to my encounters. I find that they aren't always as innocent as they seem. Since everyone in my life seems to get a kick out my geriatric magnetism, I though I would share here and write up a few of my favorites. Enjoy and please feel free to share your own awkward stories in the comments!
The Apple Guy
He was upon me in a flash. Before I could even react, he was three sentences in and holding an apple up to my face. I backed away slowly, politely smiling at his gummy grin. Who was I Snow White? I just wanted a bag of apples. I thought the smile would appease him. I was wrong. He followed me through produce section explaining the differences between Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. One is green and one is red. This was detailed information. Then he offered me a bite of the fruit and told me it was okay because he would pay for it. I declined this very tempting offer and skipped the fresh produce section that week. We had enough canned stuff to get us through.
The Milk Guy
I learned a little something during this encounter. More than the different colors of apples. As I went over to grab a gallon of milk out of the cooler at the store, an older man approached me. He told me that milk was $.30 cheaper at another store today and that if I told the cashier up front, they would match that price.I had no idea they did price matching at this store. Fantastic! What a pleasant surprise. He just saved me some money. He wasn't going to be weird or offer me candy...or poisoned apples. As I walked back to my cart he followed me saying,
"So, make sure you tell that cashier okay? Oh, and by the way, your zipper is wide open."
As much as I was appreciative of him pointing this out to me, it was awkward. I would have preferred he just let me walk around in shame then leaving me wondering why he was staring at my midsection. At that point I fumbled and ran away with my cart to go zip up my pants in a deserted aisle somewhere.
The Feet Guy
Last summer I was pumping gas. Nothing out of the ordinary. I paid, pushed the buttons, and started pumping. That's when I noticed the older man across from me. He pointed his finger at my feet and his mouth moved. I should have kept my own mouth shut, but before I could stop myself, I asked,
He leaned closer and yelled,
"I really like your feet."
I don't even know how much gas I had pumped. I quickly took the nozzle out of the tank and prayed he didn't smother me with a chloroform-filled rag and haul me away.
The Wine Guy
This guy fooled me with his whit, charm, and wine knowledge. He also had this incredibly interesting mustache that I could not take my eyes off of. One of those 'curled at the end' types. I was with a bunch of friends at a luncheon that was held at a local winery. The mustached man was our pourer. He was well spoken, respectful, and funny. I love me a good sense of humor. I wanted a picture of his mustache to show my husband. Of course my friends jumped all over it and asked the man to take a picture with me. That was fine. No harm in that. But then, it happened. He wrapped his arm around my waist tight, pulled me towards him and whispered,
"Dare I say that you have a nice figure? Dare I say it feels just as good as it looks?"
Umm...NO. You dare not, but it was too late. Check out his mustache. He was mid-whisper in this picture.
The Frog in the Hat Guy
Mags and I were strolling through the store when an older man in a John Deere hat walked up to us. This is a recreation and by no means an exaggeration.
Man: "Hey, do you two ladies know I have a frog in my hat?"
Man: "Look at this young lady." *leaning in towards Mags and moving his forehead up and down* "Do you see it moving under there?"
Mags: *blank stare*
Man: "Do you see it? See? Watch my hat move up and down. The frog is jumping."
Mags: *staring at me, then back at the man, back at me* "Mama, let's go."
Me: "Alright, well, you have a nice day."
Man: "I will. Well, me and my frog will."
Me: *walking away*
Mags: "Mama, you know there wasn't a frog under there, right? It was just his head movin' up and down."
Me: "Yup. I got it Mags."
She's smarter than your average bear...or old man with a "frog" in his hat.
The Cup O' Joe Guy
Half-awake, the coffee shop called my name. The jingling of my purse told me I had enough change sunk to the bottom to purchase a cup of coffee. I pulled open the door and the eye contact with the older gentleman was immediate. I smiled instinctively.
"Always respect your elders" my mom would say.
I wasn't at the counter long when the smell of Old Spice overwhelmed me. Then I hear a gruff, smoke-ridden voice say,
"Margie, let me buy this sweet young girl a cup o' joe."
He dug deep into his pocket and threw a crumpled one and some change on the counter. I protested immediately.
"That is so kind of you, but not necessary."
Then he smiled and said,
"You look just like my daughter. She was such a good girl. Let me do this for you."
I teared up, shut up, and thanked him profusely.
He renewed my faith in the old guy that day. I was happy to see there were men out there like my own Grandpa. Upstanding, sweet, and genuine. Of course, that lasted until the Post Office Guy, but that's a story for another post.