I don't know what it is about me, but I repeatedly get approached by strangers who proceed to talk to me about completely random stuff or decide to tell me their life stories. It happens at the bookstore, at the library, at the bus stop, on the train, etc. What makes this perplexing for me is that I work pretty damn hard at appearing unapproachable. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually very nice & warmhearted when it comes to people I know. The thing is, I have a bit of social anxiety that makes me feel on edge when in public places. So, I'm not fond of interacting with strangers. When I go shopping on my own, my mission is rather simple: get in, get what I need, and get out ASAP with minimal eye contact. In case eye contact does occur, however, I have assembled an arsenal of facial expressions that range from bored disinterest with a touch of annoyance to the bugger-off-if-you-know-what's-good-for-you glare.
Alas, my antisocial armored facade failed me yet again. While at the grocery store yesterday, I got approached not once but twice. First time was by a little old lady while checking out some strawberries that were on sale:
Granny: "Honey, you really should buy some of these strawberries."
Me: [Just keep looking down. Don't make eye contact.] "Mmhm..."
Granny: "You really should; they're good for you. Look at me. Can you believe I'm 80 years old?"
Me: [Don't look up, don' look...dang it!] "No ma'am, I would have never guessed it."
Granny: "You want to know my secret?"
Me: [Not really.] "Sure."
Granny: "I eat lots of fruits and veggies every single day. You should do the same. How do you like to eat your fruit?"
Me: [In quiet solitude.] "With some yogurt."
Granny: "You should eat fruit with oatmeal and nuts. You need to put some more meat on your bones. You're a beautiful girl, but you need to fill out in some areas."
Me: [Did she just pointedly stare at my chest? There's nothing wrong with being an A cup!]
Granny: "Here, take two packages of strawberries. Actually, you could use some blueberries and bananas as well."
Me: [Wuussaaa...] "Thank you, ma'am."
Fortunately, nosy nana decided to mosey away a brief moment later. Unfortunately, I then managed to walk right into encounter #2, which was a twenty-something guy picking out watermelons:
Dude: "Hey, do you know how to tell if a watermelon is good?"
Me: [Damn you, fresh produce aisle!] "Sorry, no."
Dude: "This one looks okay, but I'm not sure...here, what do you think?"
Me: [Don't pick it up, don't pick it...frak!] "Uhhh..."
Dude: "I'm pretty sure that I heard there's a way to tell."
Me: [Buddy, I'm pretty sure, between the two of us, you're the one with more experience fondling melons.] "I really don't know."
Dude: "See, I really need to pick out a good watermelon because my brother is throwing a barbeque and this is the only thing he trusted me to take care of because there was this time last year when..."
Me: [Sonuva...why is he telling me a story and why am I still holding this stupid watermelon? Maybe I should recant my previous ignorance, come up with some silly watermelon inspection technique like a shake-sniff combo, and see if he actually does it.]
Dude: "...so I'm sure you can understand why I'm asking for your advice."
Me: [Yeah, karma is bitch slapping me for killing that fly in the kitchen this morning.] "I'm sorry. I wish I could help. Good luck. Bye!"
At that point, I made a hasty retreat to the nearest cashier and contemplated re-instituting the good ol' Talk To The Hand gesture.