Or perhaps a more fitting title would be Big (balls) Lots (of nerve) boy. I was reminded of this incident after stopping into our local Big Lots on Saturday in our excitement after securing Amber’s apartment. If you don’t frequent Big Lots, that’s probably because you think you’re above it. And you probably are. I, however, am not. I do draw the line at food – I’m not quite trashy enough to buy anything from them that includes an expiration date, but I will buy trash cans and dish rags to my heart’s content.
So anyway, in August 2005, I had just secured my very own apartment. I think the first thing to do in this case is drive to Big Lots and load up on all the crap you never had to buy for yourself before. So I did. And in the parking lot, I was followed from my Saturn to the front door by a slow-moving gray sedan. Followed? Perhaps stalked would be a more fitting term. And yes, stalking can take place in a span of 20 feet. I have just decided it.
Before proceeding, I feel the need to disclaim something. You probably think I’m a beauty queen if I’m getting hit on in parking lots of discount stores. I’m not. I want to remind you of the scene of this story: Omaha, NE. Right next to a staffing agency and Runza. I am by no means the most attractive woman in any room. However, my rating on the men’s primitive point scale (1 to 10) did rise two points (from 5 to 7) upon my move to the Midwest. Women in need of self-esteem? Move here. If you don’t have an Adam’s apple, midtown might even rate you a 9.
Back to the stalking gray sedan: the owner of it rolled down his window and gave me some stupid line of being lost and needing directions. I gave my tight-lipped bitch smile (I was a rookie at it then, but have since mastered) and said, “sorry, I can’t help you. I’m not from around here.” Well wouldn’t you know, neither was plaid-shirt wearing, buzzed-headed K-Fed wannabe. Let it be known there are few things that repel me more than a buzzed head. Maybe Big Lots shoppers. Or people who troll them looking for women. Maybe. But buzzed heads are pretty hideous.
This was back when I was fresh out of college and didn’t know how to say no to people, so I remained polite and acted interested while this guy yakked about where he was from and what he was doing in Omaha. I finally sensed him pausing to take a breath at which point I said I had to be going. “Wait a minute,” he said. I looked at him. “You’re not from around here, I’m not either. You’re attractive (sort of); I’m attractive (not at all), we should get together.” And that was when I learned to say “no” to people. Because even if we’re only 5s to 7s, we have standards.