People claim friends with benefits are not good for you, but what they fail to mention is what happens 10 years down the road. I do not mean some weird disease, I’m talking about that ONE booty call you would have for 6 months. You know, the one you are embarrassed to admit. The one that resembled Eminem from 8 Mile. I “lost myself in the moment” with his K-Swiss, bleach blonde shaved hair and jorts (jean shorts). That movie ruined my taste in men for several months.
I love shopping in my local supermarket. All the managers know me, I know all the staff, it’s great! It’s where everybody knows your name. I feel like a V.I.P! When they see me about to check out with my groceries, they open lanes for me so I do not have to wait in line. (Yes, my sister makes fun of me for knowing everyone, but everyone needs to feel special from time to time.) My supermarket V.I.P. status came crashing down last Tuesday when the company decided to transfer all the current managers in my store. I was sad when I heard the news. Now my V.I.P. status will have to be regained.
I walked in, talked to the new department manager and looked on the wall to see who is running the store. To my horror, my old booty call’s picture was hanging proudly on the wall as a manager. (Glad to see he is doing something with his life and hopefully put the jorts away forever – but that is doubtful.) My mouth dropped. The whole “friends with benefits” thing was bad news. I ended it on a very bad note 10 years ago and have not spoken to him since. I turned and walked down the toilet paper aisle with my four-year-old son in hand. As I was deciding about the double or triple-ply, I came face to face with my past. My past and present crashed like a head on collision. Yikes, there I was 19 and feeling vulnerable when I saw him. My mind raced….should I hide behind the toilet paper display or ignore him and walk on by? He and I made eye contact and quickly turned the other way. For some reason, when something shocks me, I tend to make a crazy face with a creepy smile and hold my breath. This is why no one should ever give me a surprise party. Anyway, as I started breathing again, I heard laughing. “Jorts” is walking hip to hip with another new manager giggling while looking in my direction. The same laugh the mean girls did in high school when you got a new haircut and thought it looked good. Not only did I feel insecure, I now felt like I was 15, back in braces with frizzy curly hair. A feeling I have not experienced in many years since discovering my “Chi” and non-glitter eye shadow. How did I go from being an almost 30-year-old confident woman with a beautiful family, to a sad and awkward 15-year-old who wanted to run? My heart was pounding as my son asked if he could get Bubble Yum. I nodded “Yes,” with a blank look on my face. He probably could have gotten anything he asked for at that moment.
As I was looking at the candy section trying to get composed, my almost 30-year-old self returned to form. I kissed my son on the head, grabbed my handheld basket and walked with my son like any normal day. As I past “Jort’s” checkout line, I tried to breathe normal and not shake. I waved and smiled at him and said “Welcome to the store.” Relieved my voice did not crack; I quickly turned and checked out at a different lane and walked out the door. It was a feeling of relief to know I handled it like “an adult.”
The next time I went to the store, we still ignored each other, but at least if I have an issue with my coupons or a price check, it will not be the first time we speak. So, I guess my advice to all you ladies having “booty calls” is; when you see them 10 years later, face the problem. Don’t hide behind the toilet paper display hoping somehow you will become invisible. Also, what a relief to know your 8 Mile phase is over and put to rest!!!
*Just a day in my life……Michelle Katherine Mae
You can read more from Michelle on her blog.