I walked into the tiny wine shop from the pouring rain, soaked from head to toe. My three-year old jacket and grubby shoes let the two clerks know immediately that I was there to spend $12 and $12 only, and thus, they left me alone.
The two men busied themselves instead with helping a rich brunette woman at the register. Somehow, it took the both of them to ring her up and bag her six bottles of wine. I walked conspicuously past the register, but all I got was a “be right with you” with no eye contact.
The lady was going on and on about her love for “sauvignon blan.” She kept saying it over and over again without the c.
“Sauvignon blan-K. Blan-K,” I said in my mind. Yes, you do pronounce the last c in French words. That is why everyone else besides you pronounces it that way, I thought. I comforted myself with the knowledge that what I lacked in money I made up for in cultural capital.
Finally, she left, but before she did, she invited them both to her next dinner party, a perk of working in the wine business, I guess…rubbing shoulders with the well-to-do.
Judging by their old sweatshirts (grubbier than my outfit), I’m guessing they appreciated the invite.
One guy went to unpack shipment, while the other resigned himself to helping me.
He soon realized that I was cute. I realized the same about him. Perhaps I could forgive the initial diss…perhaps.
He commenced making jokes about something or other, but at a very rapid speed. Why are the cutest guys always the funniest, and they try to impress you by firing off a bunch of jokes all at once? I’ve never been good at banter, and used to fail miserably at the bar scene in my twenties for this very reason.
His little witticisms flew over my head like pop-flys past an inept baseball player. I nodded my head like a vacuous Bobblehead. “Yes. Right. Cool.” I murmured in assertion and politely laughed. I gathered he was saying something about his friend.
No matter about the awkward flirtation fail. I’m engaged, I reminded myself. My girlfriends always seem to manage a healthy amount of flirtation outside their relationships, but not me. I will pretend I’m better than that.
He soon realized he wasn’t making any headway, and asked what I needed. I told him I wanted to see the Alsace section.