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Monday, July 6, 2009

Four Little Words

Last week I was on the cereal aisle, you know, just pondering Life and it's inflated $5 per box price tag, when a voice from behind me said in a thick accent, "How you get so beautiful?" I quickly turned around and was taken aback at the sight of a man with graying hair (actually a few graying hairs would be more accurate, think Homer Simpson meets John McCain.) I did a quick survey of Aisle 7 as I crossed my fingers in hope that a middle aged cougar was standing behind me, but no one else was around and the man continued to stare straight at me through his glasses with a strange smirk on his face. "You've got to be kidding me!" I thought, "Can't I turn around just once and see someone who doesn't have gray hair, isn't wearing sweat pants in public, or gasp, speaks English as their first language?" Apparently not.

By the way, was it just me or did anyone else get carefully instructed by their mother in elementary school to scream out four little words when approached by a creepy stranger? "This isn't my daddy!!" Those four little words were supposed to do the trick and cause the bad guy to flee. I was taught those four words and luckily never had to use them, but this cereal aisle situation could have been a perfect opportunity to give them a try, had I not been a 25 year old woman with pepper spray, a cell phone, and shopping cart that with enough speed could definitely knock over this man.

Oh I was also taught not to let anyone put a temporary tattoo on me because the ink was laced with heroine and bad people set up booths near playgrounds and used them to lure in and drug young kids. Nothing like stirring up fear in your 6 year old, but who knows, had that temporary tattoo touched my skin there would be more than an 83% chance that today I'd have tattoo sleeves and a meth lab in my kitchen. I have been spared.

The man on aisle 7 boldly proceeded to take my hand and introduce himself and in the same breath asked if he could take me out. In hopes of dismissing his advances, I graciously thanked him but lied that I had a boyfriend. He became a little more persistent, "I still take you out. Start as friends?" I wanted to laugh and say, "Friends? Honestly sir, do you think me and you would ever be friends? I'm too young to be friends with your offspring, and there's no chance you'd even pass the in depth screening process to become my Internet friend on Facebook."

But instead of speaking my mind, I blurted out something rather strange. Something I had never said before. I looked at the man and confidently said four little words. Yes, in that moment I replaced "This isn't my daddy!!" with a new and improved get-away-from-me line "I'm close to marriage!!" Like magic, this remark caused the man to quickly scurry off. I'm well aware that "I'm close to marriage" sounded awkward and lame, but it sure did the trick. Next time I will be prepared with more 4 word phrases, such as "I'm currently being courted" or the shocker, guaranteed to make men run away, "I am with child".