Peninsula Tours of
Encounters on a Supermarket Tour
It always happens in the produce department at the local
supermarket. This time it was a former paramour who dumped me
when I dragged him to my shrink where he said, “I may have
proposed to her but I really had no intention of getting
This was 20+ years ago and is all
water under the bridge since I forgave him after a considerable
period of hysteria.
I had no intention of marrying
him either but had gone to considerable effort to gain the
ultimate conquest. Why, I even coerced him into posing for a
“will you marry me?” photo at Glacier Point in Yosemite. Lucky
he didn’t push me over instead.
But I digress . . .
Here I am, not expecting to see
anyone I know and certainly not an ex-lover. It’s a day
I’ve decided to go sans makeup and my hairdresser has recently
scalped me. My pants are baggy and ink stained and my sweater
reveals how low the “girls” have sunk.
He, on the other hand, is tanned
and buffed as always, his now white hair the only thing that
belies his age. He looks me up and down and says, “Well, you’ve
stayed thin.” Skinny was always his thing.
And so as not to tell a lie (he
used to say, “You look great”) he says, instead, that my coral
lipstick (mostly chewed off by now) matches my shirt which has
puncture holes in it from a recent trip to the vet, wherein one
of my cats ripped me a new one. How could he miss the bloody
scratches on my arms? The arms that, during a picnic two decades
ago, he pointed out were starting to sag a wee bit at the
“Just kidding,” I remember him
saying . . .
He’s an artist, so I forgive him
his visual predilection. Visual and fastidious: he mostly wore
white and taught me how to remove food stains from clothes by
spitting on them. It really does work for dissolving food . . .
Ever the health nut, as I examine
spinach in the cold case he examines my basket and remarks,
approvingly, that the foods I have gathered look healthful.
So we share a bit about our
whereabouts, his divorce and teenage daughter and he moves on to
the dairy section, probably shocked at my transformation from
“best looking” (I really did get that in high school and now
it’s my damnation) to L.O.L.
A better run-in at the grocery
store was with an ex, also an artist, who had aged as badly as
me. We were both stunned. “Wow! You’ve changed,” was all he
could muster. And while I was in saggy sweats I was glad that he
looked even frowsier.
So, to hell with vanity!
Character building has replaced my need to vamp men now. The
free ride I had with beauty, which was an E-ticket to a lot of
men and jobs, actually stunted my growth.
I can see that now.
And yet, I mull over my next trip
to the store . . . Perhaps I’ll just paint on some cat’s eyes,
gel my hair, sleek on my cycling spandex pants and step into a
pair of stilettos.
We’ll see . . .