Friday, January 25, 2008

So, I see you have some bananas....

Sometimes, I think my life is rather ordinary.

I’m a grad student, so that’s pretty much my job. It’s been frustrating recently due to some labwork not going well (meaning I’m doing stuff which turns out to be pointless), a collaborator not responding to my attempts to communicate with her and get some materials she’s promised me (standard sort of coworker problems), and lab meetings/seminars taking up a large amount of my time (meaning I’m spending too much time in meetings). That’s beginning to look like an underpaid office job, where one of the primary perks is extreme time flexibility. Outside of my job, I’ve been reading some popular fiction, working out, and watching some movies. I’ve even been going to an internet café with friends, even if we’re there to play board games. This all seems pretty typical.

And then, in conversation today, I was reminded of the fact that this summer I was asked by a random stranger in the grocery store if I had a pet monkey.

Things like that have a way of reminding me that sometimes my life really isn’t that normal.

Now, in the defense of the random stranger, my shopping cart looked like I was about to open a fruit stand. I had foolishly decided to go to the market while hungry, which everyone knows means you’ll buy way too much food. I’ve learned that for me, personally, going to the grocery store hungry will result in insane quantities of fruit being purchased. As a gay primate, I have plenty of reasons to like fruit. At the time of the question being asked, my shopping cart contained two pints of blueberries, one of strawberries, two bunches of bananas, a couple pounds of cherries, probably a pound of grapes, and a small watermelon. And nothing else. I was in the process of reaching for some raisins when the young woman just blurted out “Do you have a pet monkey?”

“Excuse me?”

No introduction, no previous encounter, just a 20-something woman asking whether I kept exotic tropical primates at home. Maybe she was trying to flirt with me; I didn’t think of that until much later. She just struck me as weird. She repeated her question, at my response. I looked at her like she was a crazy woman, said “No,” and headed over to the deli counter. I was relieved she didn’t follow me. When it was time for me to check out, I noticed she was still standing in the produce area. She didn’t have much produce in her cart, and seemed to be paying more attention to the other shoppers than the food.

I think we can all take some knowledge away from this anecdote:

- What some people consider friendliness, others will consider weird.

- If you want free fruit in the summer, talk me into going grocery shopping while I’m hungry, and then come visit in the next couple of days.

- If you’re a woman who has decided to treat the grocery store as a different kind of meat market, head back to the butcher’s case. The junk food aisle is another good option. The fruit area of the produce section is not the market for you.


AdamX said...

Awww... You broke her little heart.

I would have been flattered.

megan said...

yeah dude, she totally wanted a date. why can't she find one in produce?