I was shopping at Jons, an Armenian grocery store chain with locations throughout Glendale and East Hollywood. The locals call it Little Armenia. Their selection of quality Mediterranean ingredients make them one of my favorite foodie haunts. I especially love their yogurt, kefir, and carbonated yogurt drink.
I don’t typically dress up for such adventures. Rolling out of bed, throwing on an old tank top and shorts, and stuffing my hair in a ponytail was my beauty regimen. There was no make-up on my face. I was proud I washed it. Living in the quasi-barrio offered many advantages, including dressing with what look liked rash carelessness in other parts of shallow L.A. People preened to be seen on the Westside. I dressed to disappear on the Eastside. The last thing I expected as I scrutinized the cultured dairy section was any sort of male attention.
His softly insistent voice startled me. “Can I take you to lunch sometime?”
I looked to my left where a man about my age stood. He didn’t have a cart or basket and wasn’t carrying any products. His clothes were mismatched and his hair hung willy nilly. Eyes were gray and wandered about. Nails were bitten down to waning crescent moons.
“Um… no… I have boyfriend,” I said, thinking a boyfriend was irrelevant to the question. He made me edgy. Not sure I would even be comfortable discussing the merits of various yogurt brands, much less arranging for lunch.
“I don’t mind if you don’t mind. There’s room for all of us.” His tone was serious and his gaze intent.
“Well, I’m really busy… but thanks for asking.” I still endeavored politeness as I was afraid of pushing some button and him acting out like he came from Crazytown.
“I’m really easy to squeeze into a schedule.”
“I don’t think I can squeeze you in.”
“Well, can I have your number and maybe we can chat?”
“No, I’d rather not.”
“Would you like my number?”
This guy was not going to take a hint and his persistence was turning my edginess into screaming meemies. “No. Look, I really think you should just let this go and leave me alone.”
“Okay, I don’t want to annoy you or anything.”
I stifled an ironic laugh. “Thank you.”
I went back to my kefir selection and he shuffled away. I kept an eye over my shoulder all the way home.