I hate shopping for groceries, especially:
1. The old people who act surprised that they actually have to pay, and rummage through their purse for their checkbook.
2. And who can't figure out how to use the card swipers.
3. The checkers who get into long, involved conversations with their friends.
4. And who let their friends cut in line.
So I have a system: I go only on Tuesday mornings around 10:00 am (no old people, and the checkers' friends haven't arrived yet), and I go only to the Food Co-Op, which is much less crowded, and doesn't take coupons. Besides, it stocks fresh fruit and vegetables you can't get anywhere else, like jicama and carambola,
But today I need some things that can't wait until Tuesday -- mouthwash, bananas, protein bars, a can of cream of broccoli soup, that sort of thing -- and I'm too busy to drive all the way out to the Food Co-Op. So I take a deep breath, grit my teeth, and go to the Hy-Vee. On a Saturday afternoon.
It's packed, of course. but I'm an expert at choosing the shortest line -- only five people, no full shopping carts, no one elderly. And the checker....
The most beautiful guy I have ever seen -- or at least, the most beautiful guy since the highway rest stop in Iowa last summer. A glimpse of supreme beauty in a supermarket on the Plains.
In his 20s, about my height, rather slim, but with a dreamy teen idol face. Sharp, classic features, dark eyebrows, a dazzling smile.
I feel a little shaky. Even at age 50-something, supreme beauty makes me weak in the knees.
I watch him work, gazing at his face and hands, glancing down to see if he has a physique or a bulge, grinning like a teenager at a boy band concert, strategizing how to ask him out.
Get ahold of yourself! This is a supermarket. He's 30 years younger than you, probably underaged, and probably straight! Besides, he's busy. You can't cruise a guy at work.
Now there's only one person ahead of me, a middle-aged lady who fishes around in her big purse for her small purse, pulls out a check book, and laboriously writes a check, including the memo line, then records the amount in her ledger. Ordinarily I'd be fuming.
He sees me watching, mistakes my gaze for impatience, and says "It will just be a minute, sir."
I'm tongue-tied. He's so stunning, I can't think! This must be what the ancients felt when Zeus or Apollo appeared before them.
His nameplate says Zack: Assistant Manager.
"Um...um...no problem, Zack...I'm in no hurry. I've got nowhere to go this afternoon except the gym. It's chest and shoulders day." I unzip my leather jacket. Underneath I'm wearing a blue sweater that accents my pecs.
He turns to my items while the bag boy is still bagging the middle-aged lady's stuff, and flashes that smile again.
"Bananas and cream of broccoli soup! I'd like to see the recipe that calls for those."
I laugh. "I'll invite you over to sample it."
Get ahold of yourself! This is a supermarket checkout line, not a gay bar! Besides, do I really want to see him naked? Perfection becomes imperfect very quickly in the cold light of the bedroom
"Any coupons today?"
Even his voice is dreamy! I glance down, check for a bulge. "Um...no."