Mentally checking off items on my grocery list, I made my way to the area of Whole Foods with the vegan dips I like. A middle-aged man was looking at the dip that I planned to grab. I waited patiently behind him. I saw he was contemplating, as he touched the various dips (French Onion, Queso, what’ll be?). I offered: “They are really good!” Perhaps a tad enthusiastic. The dip he was hovering over, the Queso, is a slightly spicy vegan cheese dip that I am addicted to. Yum.

He looked a bit taken aback. I nodded my head and smiled to further assure him. I wasn’t in a rush and trying to move him along; I was genuinely inspired to share my love of the Queso. He mumbled, “I’ve never tried it,” his eyes and face hardening, as he backed away. He was looking at me, suspiciously, like I was a sales rep for Kite Hill … or like I was stranger danger. Did I come on too strong? Did my love for the Queso make you uncomfortable? I pictured him telling his wife or a friend later, “This weird lady tried to pick me up at Whole Foods.”

I used to be shy, and more than shy, I was disconnected from myself and others; I walked around in a kind of haze, not really noticing my surroundings. I certainly would not have struck up a conversation with a stranger in the supermarket, something my mom did all the time when I was a kid (although people never seemed weirded out by her, I must say). I am more open and present now and, as a result, more apt to talk to people I don’t know, and for the most part people are kind and friendly. But not this guy; I must have rubbed him the wrong way. I wanted to shout after him, I am not trying to pick you up! Really! I don’t even think you’re cute!

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