The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)
I had been in a nose dive in life. Sort of lost my way. Bad choices and psychotic women had been my norm until one day…
She caught my eye the second I walked in, a millisecond of eye contact told me everything I needed to know. After that brief glance, she avoided making any eye contact at all, yet her body language spoke a different tune.
Professional and courteous she was, all but the eye contact. There was none! I found myself too late for the swing, (Should not have waited past her oh so fleeting glance.) Strike one.
I walked out wondering if I had lost my touch. I could sense this one was far different from any woman I had met before, and that sense nagged me with a saying I heard long ago in my childhood.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got.”
“Alright, I’ll come back tomorrow,” I promised myself.
The next time up to the plate I didn’t fair much better. I wandered in and strolled around the store over and over.
“Think outside the box,” I muttered and desperately searched for something to buy that could start a conversation. Her eyes followed me with only quick glimpses that vanished when I looked her way.
I honestly thought I was losing my mind. I could feel the stare, but nothing as I looked back. Over and over.
Finally I simply walked up to the counter and said “I’m looking for a specific kind of screw.” Get your mind out of the gutter, she worked in a hardware store for Pete’s sake!
Don’t worry though, by the look she shot me, I think her brain went to the same place. But it did pull her eyes up to mine. I smiled my usual confident smile, and received a polite but cool smile back. This time though her stare never wavered.
I got her on the ropes,I thought.
“Anything else you need,” she asked as she finished writing down my order for screws I didn’t actually need.
“Just your phone number,” I grinned back.
Her ink pen paused mid stroke, but she said nothing at first.
“Sign here please, and I’ll have them in two days.” Foul tip, strike two!
Not only was I at my whits end when I arrived to pick up my purchase, I also had a time crunch. The company I worked for at the time had an out of town trip lined up for me. I didn’t know how long, just knew I was leaving the next day.
There was no question in my mind what would happen if I went out of town without her phone number. She’d find someone else, and I would have a trip full of alcohol and female escapees from the local funny farm. (Seriously, I had bad, bad luck with women).
With a quick application of fresh deodorant I kept in the truck’s glove box, I put on my sexiest smile and proudly stepped up to the plate…
“Your order,” she said and set a box on the counter.
“I noticed you have yet to refer to them as screws,” I chuckled.
“Here’s your screws sir,” she patronized, “Anything else?”
“Yes, I need ten digits that will put me in touch with you tonight.”
Her eyes narrowed and her jaw clenched as she stared me down.
“Why don’t you just ask me out then,” she seemed to be gaining the upper hand in the conversation.
“To be honest, I have to be across the state in a meeting at nine tomorrow morning,” I told her, “So unless you are interested in a four a.m. breakfast…”
“I am not a morning person,” her words trailed off, “But OK.”
And over the wall it goes!!
That breakfast kicked off into the wonderful world I now live in. Five terrific kids (if anyone wants to experience life with multiple teenagers, I am sure we can work out a rental agreement), and two grand kids (not all five are still teenagers- a tale about that can be found here.)
All because I walked into a hardware store and asked for a special kind of screw! To this day I still have that box, unopened. They already served their purpose.