Knowing that I was going to spend the morning cleaning, I threw on an old pair of shorts and the first winner’s t-shirt I ever bought from NaNoWriMo. It’s my favorite simply because it was the first one I was ever qualified to buy. Soft grey cotton, bold orange block lettering, and a squirrel saying “Whoa!” What’s not to love?
As he approached, he slowed down, hesitated, his stride broke and he looked me up and down. He regained his footing and continued on. Curious, I kept my eye on him because - well, he’s a ginger! And I never get perusals. He got about ten feet beyond me and then turned and looked me up and down. Again!
Folks, I was floored. Dumbstruck. Flabbergasted. Getting one glance almost never happens and a second one is unheard of.
He walked a few more feet, stopped, turned fully around, and caught my eye.
“I love your shirt,” he says. “I’ve thought about giving it a try and just haven’t .”
Of course, my shirt, my walking billboard to NaNoWriMo. I laugh.
“You should give it a try. It’s a lot of fun.” I tell him. By this time, Ashleigh and I have successfully acquired #2 pencils and were heading back up the aisle towards the guy.
We start walking together.
“My friend does it and keeps trying to get me to do it too,” he says.
“That’s how I got started.” I reply, “You know there’s a small group that tries to meet at Barnes and Noble, usually in the mornings-”
“Oh. I teach,” he interrupts.
“Well, the time is flexible.” I tell him as his pace quickens. Am I being too outgoing? Too pushy? “The website is NaNoWriMo.org,” I tell him and slow down a little.
He strides on ahead of me. “Thanks, maybe I’ll look into it.”
He continues walking. I continue walking. Following right behind him. Crap. He’s going to the same aisle that I need to go down.
“Now I feel like I’m stalking you,” I laugh.
He turns around and smiles. “No problem.”
Is he creeped out? Was that a forced smile? Am I reading too much into it?
Social awkwardness at it’s best.
He beelined down the personal care aisle and I made for the cheese and dairy aisle. We parted ways, but jeesh, wouldn’t you know it, back at the register, who am I behind?
So, I’ll take a second and throw out an apology to the guys over at NaNoWriMo. I tried advertising and recruiting for you. I don’t think it worked. Maybe next time I’ll leave it at, “Gee thanks. You should give it a go,” and walk away.