Crushed tomatoes. Diced tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes. Whole tomatoes. Tomato sauce. Tomato puree. Tomato paste. Big cans. Little cans. Low sodium. Organic. Brands. Brands. And more brands.
All dangerously close to the spaghetti sauce that could have solved this entire thing.
But I was bound and determined to find what the recipe called for.
So, I stared at my list again. I breathed. And took it one can at a time.
A blur to the right heading towards me. A person. A man. I backed up a bit as a polite gesture and smiled into the air. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the tomatoes and lose my place.
The blur walked in front of me to the shelves of whatever it was he needed to the left, looked for a second, then walked, I think empty-handed, back to the right to rejoin his awaiting cart.
I heard, “Excuse me.”
“No, excuse ME.” A reflex.
28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes. Nope, definitely not it.
“I’m sorry. I just keep bothering you.”
He was back. And not such a blur this time. I looked away first to clear my mind of tomatoes, and then looked at him. He was the cutest, in that understated way that just adds to the cuteness, thing I’ve ever seen.
He stood to the left for a second or two. Green beans, I think.
And, again, empty-handed to his cart.
He smiled like he didn’t expect me to take him so well.
I didn’t want to stare or make him think I might stalk him later in the checkout line or the parking lot, the poor guy, so I went back to my study of canned tomatoes.
“You know, I guess I’m just going to keep walking back and forth in front of you. I really am sorry.”
“It’s really okay. I’m having a tomato dilemma anyway.”
“It’s all just too much, isn’t it?”
“Yes! Yes, it is.”
I eventually got the proper tomatoes. I don’t remember if he found what he needed or not. And this morning I can’t really recall what he looked like. I do remember tall. And sandy-colored short hair. And polite. And funny. And entirely too close.
Moments like this happen about twice a year and shake up my asexuality. Damm this green bean shopper and Gary Allan videos.