Friday, April 18, 2008

The Grammarphile buys light bulbs, part I

Today I had to do the simple task of buying two light bulbs to replace two bulbs that had burned out in my apartment. Seems simple, right?

Lesson #1: In The Grammarphile's life, nothing that seems that simple ever IS that simple.

I figured Home Depot would be a good place to go to find the light bulbs, so off I went. I usually don't mind going to Home Depot too much because it's often a very quick trip for me--I stick out like a sore thumb in there (tiny, well-dressed female--they don't seem to get many of those frequenting that store), which means that within about 2.5 seconds, someone has approached me to offer help in finding what I need, which means I usually get out of the store pretty fast.

Yeah. Not this time.

I wandered through the store looking for the light bulb aisle. I finally saw the lighting aisle and I started to walk toward it. As I was walking past aisles, all of a sudden I heard "HI! I like your shoes!"


I turned around. There's a Home Depot salesperson riding a motorized scooter-thingy. And he is admiring my shoes. And he's smiling at me in a rather creepy way.

"Thanks," I said politely.

"I really like your shoes!" he said, very emphatically this time. (And it isn't like he wanted my shoes for himself. This was not an effeminate kind of man. This was a straight man who clearly...liked my shoes.)

I smiled and nodded and pretty much fucking RAN toward the light bulbs. See, here's the thing. I am a freak magnet. At work I attract all manner of crazies coming over to my desk and making strange comments at me--from the janitor (who, just yesterday, wandered over to my desk because he "wanted a better look at me"--oh yes, he admitted it), to the mailman, to the way older salesperson who randomly calls me to ask me if I can teach him how to use the internet (um, what?) and then tries to ask me to lunch (thanks, but, um, I kind of have an aversion to creepy guys). I'm mostly used to this behavior because I've been dealing with my freak magnetism for a long, long time, but the actual details of the encounters with said weirdos never fail to make my head spin.

Lesson #2: Wherever The Grammarphile goes, she usually tends to attract at least one weird guy who makes at least one weird comment. The Grammarphile does not get hit on like a normal person does. She always gets hit on in bizarre ways by bizarre people.

I picked out one of the two light bulbs I needed and couldn't find the second one. When I turned to leave the aisle, I noticed a sign that contained a misspelling (it's utensils, not utencils, you moron!), and so I stopped to take a picture. Then I got the bright idea to keep wandering the store to look for more signs containing mistakes. There were lots of handwrtitten signs there, and handwritten signs often contain mistakes. So I started wandering again.

I'd gotten halfway across the store when I heard, "Hey! It's the pretty girl with the shoes!"

Oh, shit. Shitfuckshitshitfuck.

Lesson #3: Weirdos never bother The Grammarphile just once. Oh, no--they always come back for more.

I smiled and said, "Oh, hey! Look who it is!", and tried to keep walking, but motorized scooter-thingies go pretty fast, and he caught up with me. "I like those kind of shoes so much better than those clunky shoes. You know, the ones with the fat heels?"

"Wedges," I said, walking more quickly.

"Yeah! Wedges! I like your shoes. They have such nice, thin heels. I hardly ever see anyone wearing such tall shoes!"

Shitfuckshitfuckfuckfuck, godDAMN it all to hell. This guy was NOT going away.

"What's your name? I'm Richie!" he said.

"I'm Nikki."

"Nice to meet you!" he said, smiling all big and creepy.

"Nice to meet you, too," I said, abandoning my sign-finding project and ducking quickly into the first checkout aisle I saw.

"If you ever need help in here, you come find me," Richie called as he drove by on his scooter. "And wear those shoes!"

I cannot believe I attracted the attention of a shoe and/or foot fetishist in the middle of a fucking Home Depot. This kind of shit always happens to me, though, so I suppose I shouldn't be too terribly surprised.

For the record, the shoes were 4.5-inch black stiletto heels.

MAMA GRAMMARPHILE, I've dedicated this post to you, since you're the one from whom I inherited my freak magnet. Gee, thanks, Mom...


Maggie said...

Oh, NO! This story is just a cringe-worthy as one of the cringe-worthiest episodes of The Office! My sympathies. :)


Haha, thanks! The good news is, it made for a GREAT story, even though it was (at the time) quite annoying. :)

mama grammarphile said...

Gee, I apologize for passing along the freak magnet gene. It's good to know you see fairly well in the dark, since I am guessing you won't be going out to buy light bulbs any time soon. Love you.


Dear sweet jesus, I'M cringing after reading this.

Sorry on behalf of men, I guess?


Haha...thanks, Brett! :)

I guess the one up-side to being a freak magnet is that at least I always get a funny story out of each weirdo encounter. That *almost* makes up for the sketchy comments I get from weird dudes who totally put the *strange* in the term "stranger"!

Becky said...

My mom and I are both freak magnets, too! I say that I have freaktraction.


"Freaktraction"--that's a fabulous word! :)

Erika said...

Too funny - I can TOTALLY relate! Must have something to do with us being awesome :) The one good thing about being a freak magnet - you get some really fantastic blog material.


Damn right, Erika! These sorts of stories make fantastic blog entries. :) (But why do awesome girls like us attract all the weirdos? Sigh.)