I wish I'd known this when I was single. Apparently all a girl has to do to attract attention is try to buy tomato cages at Ace Hardware on her lunch break wearing a skirt and chunky heels.
First of all, I haven't sold out completely. I normally wear jeans to work. It's just that I had a pitch meeting this morning. I didn't want it to be just, "Look how clever this concept is!" I was going for more of, "Look! I came up with this and still had time to throw on a skirt. My team must really be hot shit."
Anyway, over the weekend I ran short of tomato cages while I was planting, and that left the shrimpy little tomatoes sitting there on the ground very exposed to rabbits and strong winds. They're babies. They need love and cages.
So figuring that since tonight is knitting and the girls have a date with their dad to ride some kind of double-decker merry-go-round at the mall, I ran up to Ace at lunch.
"I would-a figured you were heading into the tanning place!" said a man hanging out by the Ace entrance. There's a tanning salon next door, but I've never tanned in my life unless you count forgetting to put on sunscreen at last weekend's gradeschool picnic. I'm what you'd describe as pale. Pasty, white pale, with occasional pink splotches.
"Yeah," I said, somewhat confused. What the hell? You're not supposed to comment on other people's state of paleness. It's rude.
"How you doin'!" called the overly friendly guy behind the counter as I headed for the gardening aisle.
"I'm fine, how are you," I said, thinking that, my goodness, this was the home of the helpful hardware man.
"You need any help finding anything today?" asked Friendly Man #3.
Yikes. "I think I've got it covered!" I assured him.
Friendly Man #4 approached me as I was untangling tomato cages from a stack. "How many of those you need? Need me to hold those bottom ones while you pull them off the top?"
I could feel the smile freezing on my face into something resembling a snarl. "Actually, I can handle it! Thanks anyway."
Then, as I was standing in line with my stack of tomato cages, Friendly Man #5 slipped into line behind me. "Looks like someone's growing tomatoes!" he observed.
"I have two breasts and a vagina," I replied.
No, I didn't really.
Because if you say the word "vagina" out loud in a hardware store, the support beams start to melt and everything shrouded in testosterone disintegrates into a pile of ash.