The greatest thing anyone has ever said to me in a supermarket

I shop at the gabbiest Trader Joe’s in California. Last year I caught one of the grocery store’s associates in a bold lie. There have been other incidents, but the afore-linked bomb was the most damning.

All is now forgiven.

Yesterday while purchasing spinach, pineapple salsa and rum – yes, I had quite a night planned – the checkout woman looked at the bottle and then used the age-old trick of tilting her head sideways to gauge the legality of my purchase. Looking at me straight on, she clearly had her doubts. But once she cocked her head to a 20-degree angle, I surpassed the age of 21 right before her eyes.

Actually, I do not think the head tilt gives the tilter any more information. What it does is let the tilt-ee know, “I have my eyes on you,” as if her moment of investigative head-tilting would have forced a single bead of sweat to run down my temple, prompting her to demand my ID.

I kept my cool.

It helps that I am 33.

After giving me the 20-degree glance, the checkout woman said maybe the greatest thing anyone has ever said to me in a grocery store.

“Sorry,” she said. “You still have that college frat boy look.”

Loved it.

What she does not know is that I did not have that college frat boy look in college. But I guess I have it now. Unshaven, Multiple layers of shirts. Jeans accessorized with sunglasses. Best of all, I have the face of a young rush committee chair.

I shall continue to go to Trader Joe’s for the delicious food, and to learn things about myself.

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