Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bananas and Bronies

I interact with hundreds of people every day at Target.

Some days a few of those people are particularly note worthy.

Today was one of those days.

First, I met the banana lady.

I was walking down a main aisle talking to another coworker when I saw her pick up a banana, pull the peel off of it, stick the peel back into the banana pile and continue on her merry shopping way eating her fruit.

And the worst part was she must have been about 50. See, I still somewhat have the (clearly wrong) misconception that doing shit like that is something only stupid college kids do, and that people who are middle age are responsible adults full of self-awareness and self-actualization.

I'm pretty sure this artificial impression is left over from when I was a stupid youth myself as I see things every day to prove it wrong, and just haven't been able to override that inner conviction of adults being better people solely because they're adults (adults: more than 10 years older than me), much like thinking off-season snow is special (so special it breaks my car even) and that working hard might actually make a difference in life. Intellectually I know these are not necessarily true or at all factually supported, but some part of my soul still clings to the delusional allusion. 

I really wanted to stop her, and ask her what she was doing with the banana. Monetarily, the Target corporation doesn't give a shit. The bananas are $0.24 apiece, and we already just throw away all the ones that get spotty. The Assets Protection team care about people walking out with unpaid-for tvs and tucking two dozen playstation games into their backpacks, not someone who ate a piece of produce probably without paying for it (she *could* have told her cashier to ring her up for it.... in that hypothetical world of people not being complete immoral scumbags.....).

But I didn't. I just watched her walk away, too dumbstruck to even know how to handle something as brazenly void of personal integrity as putting the peel back into the big bunch of bananas while eating the fruit itself.

A little while later I was in the middle of coping with a slight meat fiasco (some packages of pork ribs were damaged, and I found this out by getting delightfully sticky pork juice all over me when I picked one up), when a guy asked me how much the reusable shopping bags cost.

This was a totally unremarkable interaction (beyond the part where right then I was holding a leaking package of bacteria ridden nastiness), except that he kept talking. He asked me if food stamps would pay for it, and I told him probably not as the computerized system they have now is pretty high tech and will automatically sort out your food from your light bulbs when you swipe the food stamp credit card despite it all being on one order.

And then he complimented my mane.

I'm assuming it was in reference to the pink streak in my hair, but feel free to draw your own conclusions from this one.

I was a little thrown off by it, but as a few people (like those whom I actually know) have made comments about my hair's MyLittlePony-ness before, it wasn't completely unreasonable in my mind and therefore I just did my twitchy polite smiled and thanked him with a little nod.

And then he came back a few minutes later.

And babbled a lot about how he was sorry he called it a mane and he just couldn't remember the word for hair since he didn't have any (the twitchy polite Marty smile was on in FULL force at this point). And then he asked if I wanted to go out some time.....

I did my best to politely decline, and then he finally left the store (or at least wandered far, far away from me), and I thought that was (finally) the end of that.

Except then when I mentioned the incident to some other coworkers up in the office later, their response was along the lines of hoping he doesn't come back now that he knows where I work, totally assuming he's a creepy stalker about to be incarnate.

Which made me have the (slightly terrifying) quandary about whether I just got myself a bronie stalker.

I want someone who doesn't tease me excessively about the boxes of pastel equestrians in my parents' garage and who can sit through the My Little Pony Movie with me and the kids one time without making constant commentary of how stupid it is. The bronie level of My Little Pony love is way beyond even me. And just a little weird.

As is the asking someone out who you don't know in any way shape or form. I'm pretty sure I have some moral rule about at least knowing someone's name before giving them personal contact information, much less going out on a date with them.

(And if I didn't before, I sure do now.)

The back-to-college Target chaos (where our average daily sales start doubling and tripling from what they are now) starts up in full swing in three weeks.

I'm feeling that it's going to be a long few months of inwardly hating humanity with a polite twitchy smile frozen on my face.


  1. I am now going to give you advice. What's that? You didn't ask for advice? Well, too bad -- I'm giving it to you: have a response ready in case Mr Mane returns. I know from first hand experience that "Thanks but I do not want to go on a date with you. I'm sorry." is not nearly as effective as "I do not want to go on a date with you." The latter is borderline rude, the former is crazy dude speak for "We'll name our first daughter after your mother, and our first son will be called Gandalf." Go with rude. Stay safe.

    Good luck with the back-to-college crush! And the banana-stealing lady! Fight the good fight!

  2. If you have to have a stalker, I guess a bronie stalker isn't too bad. Still, weird. Flattering, but weird.