Leonard.

Last night I took my first step as a downtown dweller and went to the local King Soopers. Generally speaking I tend to be more of a Safeway fan, but King Soopers works when it’s the most convenient option. I pull into the parking garage full of ONE WAY ONLY signs (because that’s how you do it in the city) and find a 5-star parking space right up front. I cruise into the store to be confronted with the most eclectic mix of shoppers that has ever been crammed into one urban shopping mart. Let me just tell you that there was no lack of cultural diversity for my viewing pleasure. Holy smokes!

I proceed to grab a cart and begin my shopping. I have a compulsion to always start to the right of a grocery store… and if I ever start to the left it is because and only because the produce is on the left. So I cruise to the right to scope out the meat department. I, like any red-blooded American, can appreciate a good meat department. Because, by George, the options are pretty much endless. I’m standing there debating between flank steak and sirloin for my fajitas when I feel someone watching me. You know the feeling I’m talking about? You’re not sure whether to be creeped out or flattered and then there’s the whole do you pretend not to notice or turn around and stare back at them with glaring eyes that say “get your eyes off my business perv”. So I decide to be discreet and just catch a glimpse as I leave the aisle.

My new BFF was probably 6′ 5″, around 60, African-American and missing a large portion of his teeth. His hair was grown a bit long and stuck out hither-tither from beneath his baseball cap. And, his eyes never left my face. I again revisit the pretend not to notice argument when all the sudden TRAFFIC JAM due to a geriatric lady that could not walk trying to push a cart (on a side note: more power to her for getting out there, but seriously?!?!) leaving me side-by-side with Leonard (let’s just call him Leonard shall we). Leonard is still staring, more like boring holes in my head with his eyes and giving me the benefit of his toothless grin. I glance over, accidently making eye contact when he says:

“You have the most beautiful smile.”

I don’t think I had smiled or been anywhere near smiling the entire time I’d been in the store. Maybe a grimace of pain at having had the luck to get stuck behind Gertrude my geriatric leader, but definitely not a smile.

I politely respond, “Thank you.” and presume that this conversation is over. It wasn’t.

He squints his eyes, tilting his head back in thought before asking me, “Is that a married smile?”

What the hell is a married smile? The thought of sharing laundry and a bed with someone will automatically cause me to radiate joy and smile at all times in the grocery store? What planet has he been living on?

I respond, “No, not a married smile.” and give him a polite smirk.

I have to give the guy a little credit because he was just not going to let it go.

Again with the squint and the head tilt… then you can see the enlightenment beam from his eyes before saying “Oh, a boyfriend smile.”

Just as I prepare to answer Gertrude gets on her merry way and I respond… Yes… and hurry down the produce section to hunt me up a few jalepenos. He followed me around the rest of my trip, gleaming at me from the end of every row. Oh sweet Leonard.

I have a feeling that we are going to become fast friends… if I ever decide to take my chances and shop there again.

Published by Megan

I'm a marketer, cook, avid bug hater, cupcake lover, hiker, klutz, and married lady living in the great state of Colorado... My name is Megan Stecker and I'm a Colorado native. That's right, born and raised. I currently live in Denver and work in Marketing. I love what I do and watching it impact my client's business. I love to cook and bake. A good glass of wine can cure what's ailing you as long as you drink it in good company. I love the outdoors. Hiking, camping, exploring... I'm in. I have two dogs, Ollie and Duke, and I treat them like a children. My husband, friends and family mean everything to me. I also, inadvertently, find myself in the midst of disaster on a regular basis.

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