Yes, sometimes I can be paranoid, but sometimes my gut feeling that I am being watched happens to be right on. Last night was one of those situations. Sure, I’d been binge watching episodes of Veronica Mars (there’s the movie coming out in March!!!) so that might have possibly put me in a more suspicious mode, but as I was driving into the grocery store parking lot, it felt like the car behind me was following me.
When you pull into this parking lot, you can turn right, or come to a full stop before going straight. Most people opt for turning right because you only have to glance one way to check for cars and just keep going.
Knowing this, I opted to go straight to see if this car would too. They did.
Then it was picking an aisle to go down for a parking spot. I didn’t take the first aisle that almost everyone always takes in which I could clearly see decent spots available, and opted for the 2nd one thinking this person wouldn’t follow me.
But they did.
So I’m going down the aisle and spot an opening to driving through a couple parking spots and get back to the first aisle and claim the spot I’d eyed in the first place.
Well finally I picked a move this car didn’t follow. Good.
So maybe all of that was coincidence (and a first mind you – usually nobody follows my route), but it kind of set the setting for my shopping excursion.
As I left my car, I felt watched. There were several cases of people in cars that weren’t getting out of them… just hanging out in the car I guess, waiting for whoever was shopping. Usually people doing that don’t make it obvious they might be staring at you – these people sure did.
Was my hair sticking up? Did I forget to put my bra on? Was my shirt inside-out?
Was I dolled up and feeling pretty?
Nope, not really.
Actually I’d had an afternoon of “fuck this shit – I am NOT getting complacent and I have to stop focusing on the past year where things went wrong or thinking too much in detail about all the work I have to do in my LONG journey ahead because I am bugging the shit out of myself and getting down which is leading to bad thoughts & bad choices which fucking prolongs this already long-ass journey” thoughts and had opted to eat clean and drink a ton of water all afternoon in hopes to undo some damage put on over the last week.
So although I had some pride for getting through that and choosing water instead of wallowing, I wasn’t particularly in a “go me” mode… no head held high or boosted confidence. I was kind of neither here nor there. My make-up was just what is required of me to make me “not scary” as I say (concealing dark circles & some spot treatments to cover a few blemishes) but nothing extravagant (no eye make-up and I am in serious need of good lighting, a mirror, an hour and a tweezer for my eyebrows), though I was managing a somewhat decent hair day – it was up in a clip in the back and I had some good curls going (yay getting back a little humidity! I am the only person I know who likes her hair better when it’s humid outside)
But I was just dressed in jeans (excuse me, *stuffed* in jeans) and was wearing of all things, a brown long-sleeved shirt. Nothing at all that would put me in the “cute” category for outfit choices.
So anyway, I continue on with my shopping just minding my business.
Sometimes I get a few people that look me in my eyes, but mostly everyone else including me just has their heads down and trying to get their shopping done. But I felt watched AGAIN. It seemed like EVERYONE was looking at me and it wasn’t necessarily direct eye contact or them smiling friendly, it was me seeing this out of the corner of my eye or in passing and all I could think was geez – what’s going on here?
Was my lipstick smudged across my face? Were my glasses crooked? Was my hair standing up? (Totally possible given my loose hairstyle in the clip – any random breeze or even me moving my head or walking fast could misplace a curl.)
But I walked through the freezer section and looked at my reflection in the glass… nope, nothing out of place. Were they thinking “she has a pretty face, too bad she’s so fat”? (confession – even *I* have thought this about some woman I see… in a kindred spirit way, not a mean way)
So there I am in the baking aisle (finding a confetti cake for hubby because they don’t sell our once-a-year indulgence of a Carvel football shaped ice cream cake covered in those brown crunchies, so I was looking for something sweet to replace that) when I faintly hear “how you doin’?” in a male voice.
I ignore it at first not thinking it was directed at me. So he repeats himself as he walks by – “how you doin’?”
I turn and acknowledge him and answer “good” and turn back to shopping and he smiled back and kept walking.
Five aisles later… I’m over in the frozen seafood section and he comes up behind me.
“Can a take a moment of your time?”
I turn to see that it is in fact the same man from earlier and I think I said something like “sure” or “ok” and he proceeds to say he’d noticed me and
“are you single?”
I proudly hold up my left hand showing my wedding band and reply “nope” with a smile. To which he kind of does that “aw shucks” kind of response and I tell him that after almost 15 years of marriage, it was nice to hear someone else had interest.
Then he asks the question that still makes me smile…
“You love your man?”
Ah, yeah… yes I do. I’m not even sure I replied (as I was reaching into the freezer door to grab some wild caught salmon – I really can’t believe how nonchalant I was about this whole encounter) but I think I just smiled and nodded… given my proud display of my ring and my apparent disinterest, I think he knew the answer anyway.
Then he said “well… you know… you’re pretty and I just had to ask…” and I thanked him. Now I wish I’d told him he was nice looking and would find a girl of his own, but oh well.
He was cute. Slightly shorter than my usual man height requirement, but had I been single, we would have totally exchanged digits. It would have fulfilled a curiosity of mine and put some dark chocolate in this vanilla girl’s life, if you know what I mean.
After he left it was really hard not to have the biggest grin across my face or burst out in a silly giggle, but somehow I managed to compose myself and finish my shopping trip.
I kept thinking wow… here I am, closer to 40 than I like to admit and over 300 lbs (303.4 to be exact… told you I wasn’t having a good week) and not even having a clear face day and somehow, I came across as pretty to a perfect stranger (who I’d guess was late 20’s, maybe very early 30’s) and was worthy of him hitting on me. Holy crap. He certainly wasn’t brought in by my winning personality or wit… just looks. Sure, he might have been into the all the vast junk currently in my trunk, but he was looking at my face when he told me I was pretty.
So I was actually being watched at least by one person, but in a good way in the end.
It’s a self-esteem shot in a girl’s arm, I must say… I imagine I’d get the same high if I was carded at a bar or liquor store (but I don’t go into either of those).
I was trying to remember the last time I was even hit on and I think it had to be back in college sometime… a long time ago.
What kills me is that this is the sort of thing I would expect more 100 lbs less from now… and I would totally chalk it up to me feeling and looking better and the culmination of my efforts and improved self-esteem, etc., etc. So it’s throwing me off that this just happened now. It was based on nothing… not diet, not exercise, not make-up, not clothes, not confidence… just me. *I* was enough. This shouldn’t be so hard to accept, but it kind of is.