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Peninsula Tours of Natural Inspiration
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 married.”

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 elbows.

“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 . . .



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