It's been a really busy week at work, which has sapped any inclination I might have had to blog. However, I had to share what happened to me Sunday.
I was at the Mall of America with my friend, doing some damage. It was all well and good until we were at the Gap, where I fell into the chasm of awkward while paying for some cute sandals.
The cashier was an extremely good-looking man. Well, good-looking in the sense that he wasn't scary pretty (I hate pretty men; they make me feel unfeminine) and was wearing plaid button-down, which I have a serious weakness for. And he had some stubble, which I also have a serious weakness for. Moral of the story: I was not unhappy about spending two-and-a-half minutes of my life standing in front of this dude making small talk while he rang up my purchases. And as an added bonus, he kept giving me the "you look really familiar" stare, and then he said, "You look really familiar."
"Did you go to the U of M?" I asked.
"No, I never went there," he said. "I've visited a few times, but I never went there."
My friend had finished paying for her stuff at this point, and came over to where I was standing and killed some time smelling a cologne tester. "Stephanie, this smells really familiar. What does this remind you of?"
I sniffed. "The hallways of our high schools in 1999. It smells like that Tommy Hilfiger cologne every guy wore."
She agreed, and the cute cashier laughed knowingly.
"So did you go to high school around here?" said my friend to the cashier, trying to find out how we might know him.
"Yeah, Eagan," he said.
"What year did you graduate?" she asked.
"2009," he said.
Let that soak in. 2009. 2009. 2009! Do you know what this means? That this "man" was actually a child of 19 or so. I mean, he's legal, but...gross. He easily looked 28. And if he graduated high school in 2009, that means that in 1999, when every boy at my high school smelled like Tommy cologne, he was in second grade. He was not laughing knowingly; he probably just couldn't believe there were people in high school so long ago. And when he said he'd visited the U of M, he didn't mean to a house party. He meant on a tour.
So, it turns out that I am a dirty old woman. It's certainly news to me, believe me. But it gets better. My friend is a high school teacher, and she asked if he'd ever competed in debate or speech. She coaches speech, and I judge both. "Yeah," he said. "Both."
And that, friends, is why I looked familiar to him--I have probably judged him in a round at some point. When he said, "You look familiar," it wasn't an attempt at flirting. He recognized me as an Adult In Charge at a high school activity.
Oh, God. It's been five days and it's still not any less awkward. From now on, I am checking the ID of every man I meet. Because if I can mistake 19 for 28, and there are apparently-grown men in the Twin Cities who I have actually evaluated in an extracurricular, I need all the help I can get.