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Aisles – ch9

Once I entered the store I saw her in her usual checkout lane. I did not have to worry about time since the store had 55 minutes till close and she was still here. I headed to the card aisle and browsed for a “thinking of you” type of card that was nice, courteous, not feminine, and not gushing with love. Do you know how hard it is to find such a card?! They had 14 cards of this theme and I had quickly rejected the first 12 I looked over. The 13th card had a huge a guy with a thought bubble and it was filled with red hearts. Down to 1 card and it was dripping with feminine gooeyness that once I placed the card back into its spot I wiped my hand on my shirt sleeve. I paced the card aisle browsing and re-browsing the genre labels: sympathy, anniversary, love, birthday, get well, and then the so-called “cool” cards which were jokes, slang, etc.

I left the aisle to look for the candy. In the candy aisle was bags of candy, candy by unit for sale, and that was it. For crying out loud what is so freaking hard – I yelled in my head. I found someone stocking the shelves and asked them about boxed candy the type you give as a gift. He told me it was at the end of the card/gift aisle in a refrigerated box. Huh? Well I learned that they sold Esther Price candy and it was always refrigerated and placed in the gift area. In other words I paced back and forth in front of the darn thing and did not see it because I wasn’t looking for it and more than likely if I was looking for it I would not have found it because I did not know what “it” looked like.

I get to the aisle and just as he said it was there. Gold boxes, black writing, and some with a red bow. I picked a box and then walked back and forth more slowly in front of the cards figuring what I was looking for was right there and I did not see it. After two passes of the aisle I looked up and saw that the store was going to close in 2o minutes. Like I really needed the pressure!

What to do? After stressing for five minutes I realized I did not have to buy the card here. In fact I realized maybe a simple post it note with a hand written message from me to her would be the best approach. I rethinked it and felt confident about the approach so I went to the checkout lane – and despite what you may thinking – she was at her register and there was no one in line. I strolled up trying to be casual [which if you have to try to be casual doesn’t that mean you really aren’t casual?].

“Hi, did you find everything ok?” she asked.

Don’t worry I did not tell her about the drama. “Yes, thanks.”

“These are great chocolates,” Tessa said and then followed with “aren’t most chocolates?” She chuckled, I smiled and said, “Yes I think your right. I am getting them for someone who means a lot to me.” (I know, I know – I pushed it but fortunately it worked out).

She told me the price and then said “well that is very nice of you, I am sure they will enjoy it.” She gave me my change and thanked me for the purchase. I told her, “Sure, have a nice night”. “You too” she replied. Still – no one in her line. I walked out and passed in front of one of the big windows and she was standing there wiping the area. I knew right then I had conceived of the perfect plan to let her know of my interest in her.

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