I was in Ross, doing my favorite thing (trying on shoes) when a couple wandered along the aisle my friend and I were standing in. Of course, the first thing I noticed is that they were both on the preppy side- he was the typical regular guy with an open face and wearing an LL Bean barn jacket, and she had that slim, perfect figure and a blonde bob, complete with an Eddie Bauer stroller with a blonde baby in it. They had every outward appearance of being the quintessential Happy American Family. My shopping buddy looked at them (two people, a shopping cart, and a stroller is a really narrow shopping aisle) and took off to look at towels.
My husband was due to return from military duty in the Middle East any day. We'd been married for four months, and then he went away for six. Looking back at this now, I admit that was very jealous of their little family unit. I would have done anything to be shopping with my husband.
Not to mention, I was trying on shoes, and had been trying on clothes. My hair (never well-behaved at the best of times) was all tangled and snarly and wild, and I was wearing an asymmetrical slip dress, the one with the straps that always straggle off my shoulders. I felt fat and sweaty. I definitely envied her sleek, wholesome appearance. Anyway, I heard her tell her husband something to the effect that she was going to go look at housewares, and rolled blithely off with her stroller, leaving him standing in the (Women's) shoe aisle with me. OK.
He just stood there, occasionally pulling a pair of shoes off the shelf, with me trying not to look at him and thinking that he's way too preppy to be a cross-dresser, but whomever they're for, those red patent leather pumps are a fashion mistake.
Yes, I started to feel uncomfortable, especially when I realized that he was not leaving. Finally, he abandoned all pretense of looking at the shoes and was just watching me. More uncomfortable. I finally burst out with, "Can I help you? Are you looking for something for your wife?"
He just gaped at me, and finally said, "I'm sorry. I apologize for staring."
I sort of laughed nervously. Male attention makes me uncomfortable- and there are good reasons for it, which I won't go into here. Suffice it to say, I tend to feel like I am being mocked or ridiculed in a negative way, because of my weight. And sometimes, they just blurt out whatever's on their mind, with is usually a bad idea. So I was waiting for him to say that I have spaghetti sauce on my face or make some sort of horrible comment about my big ass that would take me right back to the hell of high school.
He turned back to the shoe rack for a minute, then he turned back around and said, "I just have to tell you- that you are beautiful. You are a goddess."
I think I said something brilliant like "Uh....!" and he just melted off into the underbrush.