A few weeks ago, before the big haircut, I had an amazingly awkward encounter with a local pizza shop employee.
I don’t know exactly how old the kid was, only that he was in (or possibly just out of) high school and despite my best attempts to explain to him old I truly am, he just kept… well, not getting it.
I wasn’t gonna share the story online ‘cause I was scared no one would believe me. But even though I am sometimes prone to exaggerate, the details of this story are absolutely true. As the saying goes, you just can’t make this kind of stuff up.
I’d like to dedicate this post my seventeen year old self who NEVER got hit on, by pizza employees or otherwise.
At first I thought the guy was just very thorough, but bad, at customer service. I had gotten there a few minutes before my pizzas were ready, and took a seat in the corner of the tiny pick-up place.
And this kid – this Abercrombie shirt and khaki shorts wearing, “After” image for an Apple Orthodontix commercial - started bragging about how he was probably gonna join the Air Force. And how he’d just gotten back from Hawaii. For the fifth time.
I kept looking for one of the other employees to come to the front and rescue me or talk some sense into him. But no one came, and he just kept talking, bragging about his awesome life, and also asking me increasingly personal questions about mine.
He went from asking if I was in school (I’m wayyyy out of school I said) and where I worked (an online college), and if they paid me for that work (Umm, yes) to…
“So, do you, like, live around here?”
“Yea, I said. We get delivery a lot,” a point I had mentioned before. Surely this narrows the radius plenty.
“So, do you, like, live with your parents?” he finally asked.
“Nope.” I’m pretty sure I literally LOLed at this point. He had moved from behind the counter, and was now standing suspiciously close to the bench I was sitting on.
“I live with my husband,” I said, after regaining composure. And I pointed to the ring that’d been on my left ring finger since I walked into the store, and since I awkwardly accepted the handful of parmesan and crushed red pepper packets he had handed me long before my pizzas were ready.
I kept looking around for someone to explain to me what the heck was going on, or if I was in fact on candid camera. But nothing, except awkward silence and one kinda crushed, mostly embarrassed looking 17(?) year old.
Maybe it was the fact that my hair looked crimped from sleeping in braids. Maybe it had to do with the glitter nail polish I was wearing.
But I swear to goodness I was sure the Mom shorts I was wearing would offset all that. The last thing I thought, when running to pick up pizzas was that the heir to a franchise fortune anyone would consider me a viable option for an attempted senior-year summer fling. Or a date to prom.
Still. Strange things happen everyday. And this, this, definitely met the quota for that day.
After showing the kid that someone had already put a ring on it, he scurried off to the back pretty quick, either to restock some pasta sauce or to call one of his friends to tell them the absurd story.
Soon after a nice woman – probably close to my age, who I’d asked him if she was his mother – brought me my pizzas, and I headed home. To my husband, you know, who lives nearby.
When I got there I told him about the strange encounter, and that I was sorry for letting it go on as embarrassingly long as it did. But Mikael and I both knew I was only partly serious.
Come on. When you’re pushing thirty, you take most any awkwardly flirty attention – totally inappropriate – you get. At least long enough to have a good, good chuckle on the car ride home.
I suppose the moral of the story, if there must be a moral, is that married women should never, EVER, wear their hair crimped.
But also that maybe pizza employees should stick with offering ridiculously small packets of dry cheese.
And husbands, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry to inform you there is definitely a double standard when it comes to accepting flirtations from teens. If a Sonic carhop tries to offer you more than cheesticks politely, but quickly decline. Trust me.