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WLA nyhistorical John Butler Snook ca 1837

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The highlight of my week (Monday’s and Thursday’s at approximately 9:45 in the morning) is catching a glimpse of a certain man at the supermarket.  Yes, I know, it’s quite pathetic but if I were 20 it wouldn’t be. In your twenties this kind of behavior is normal. Since I am 43, it seems a different story.  He isn’t divine or anything. Not a Clooney, nor a Pitt.  More Ewan McGregor in Trainspottingheroin chic.  His forearms are covered in tattoos, but he is always well dressed.  Meaning, that he is “hip” but his clothes are clean, new and respectable.  I’ve decided that he is someone’s personal chef- or he is the wife of some man.  Considering he is at the market on the same days every week, I’ve decided on the former (it works better for me anyway).  The other tidbit I’ve picked up about this person is that he is English.  I’ve overheard him chatting with the butcher and caught the lilt.

It (my pastime) started innocently enough a few months ago.  After my morning hike I like to go to the market to plan the meals for the week.  On one particular day I noticed him, and thought he was handsome, and a very rare sight in a relatively conservative (looking) neighborhood.  I thought perhaps he was passing through- as hipsters do.  I was looking wretched in my ancient khaki shorts, muddy shoes, wrinkled shirt, and Smokey The Bear hat.  Sigh.  I saw him look at me and was horrified.  I’m sure he and the butcher passed a look between them after I ran away.  Over the months, the viewings have become more regular- in fact he is usually at the market when I am. I’ve decided that his shopping days are Monday’s and Thursday’s- so those are my shopping days too.  Why not?  Of course they already were my shopping days…

There was one day that I caught him looking at me but I quickly looked in another direction.  The wrong thing to do- I know.  I am supposed to look at him, smile and try to hold my glance for 3 seconds(so says my sister and someone on Oprah).  3 seconds is an eternity by the way. 3 seconds of eye contact with a man feels like a needle being inserted in my spine.  I suppose this is why they call it “painfully” shy.  Since I usually look like some hippy nut job after a hike, I can’t imagine what he see’s.  What I see is a face, which is lean, and pale, and his nose, somewhat patrician.  A man’s nose is very important to me. It is what catches my eye first, then his build, then his attire. My father told me to always examine a man’s shoes first- which I try to do but it isn’t always easy.  In a way there is some truth to this, for a man can look dreamy but if you look down, and see black socks with sandals, it can ruin the dream.  Bad teeth have that effect too.  Hair, on the other hand, isn’t as much of an issue.  This gent is losing his but there is no “comb-over”, he just keeps it short and tight.  Which is sexy- in my book anyway.

Actually, I’ve decided hair is important too.  Lack of hair isn’t important but lot’s of unkempt hair is hideous.  Rarely have I seen a man in his 40’s or 50’s who can sport a ponytail with dignity.  In fact, I know of only one such man and he has natural grace and style.  But he is the exception to the rule.  The history of my boyfriends can be summed up in hairdos:  one had dreadlocks to his knees, (apparently they are at his ankles now) and they reeked of mildew but he was incredibly handsome and romantic.  One wore a ponytail that just looked stupid and although it was healthy hair, it made him look dated and somehow revealed his insecurities as a man.  Another dyed his hair cherry red. Needless to say, he was a musician.

I suppose grooming in general is far more important to women then men realize.  I have no problem with jeans and a t-shirt but if a man puts on a suit or shows that he has taken time in his presentation, he is going to score more points.  Women are just as visual as men but we tend to throw in thought as well.

So the highlight of my week is a visual one.  I don’t necessarily need to meet my supermarket man because I don’t want the dream to end just yet.  Reality tends to fall short- for in my experience I have dreadful taste in men.  Looks aren’t everything.