Sunday, June 11, 2017

40 - Love

I was born with a forehead that reads, "Tell me anything," anecdote #648.

So there I am standing in the organic chip aisle at Kroger, wondering for the second time in a week why they're out of Red Hot Blues, my favorite spicy blue corn chips. Is it as simple as a supplier shortage, has Kroger disavowed them or have they ceased making them because I am in the minority of those who like their corn chips spicy?

I'm startled out of my reverie by a voice inquiring, "How old are you?"

When I pivot, I see a woman standing in front of the supplements and vitamins, a box in hand. I'm curious why you're asking, I tell the stranger.

This is when the words, "Tell me anything" begin lighting up my forehead and she takes it to heart.

"I'm 57 and I just started dating this man," she begins in a conspiratorial tone. "Now, we haven't consummated anything yet, but he doesn't use, you know, condoms. And I don't believe in abortion. I don't believe in birth control, either."

Two things occur to me. First, surely this woman I've never laid eyes on isn't asking the world's biggest relationship failure for dating advice and second, how many 57-year olds worry about birth control?

She extends her arm so I can see the box in her hand: all natural prenatal vitamin supplements.

"If there's going to be an accident, we're going to have a healthy baby!" she assures me, tossing the supplements into her cart. "Better not take any chances with the baby."

Go for it, I tell her. Take charge of your body, especially if you don't want this man to keep it in his pants.

But mainly, I'm impressed that this woman who doesn't believe in any sort of family planing apparently has no qualms about pre-marital sex. Even better, I admire that she's optimistic enough to think pregnancy is a possibility.

Wishing her the best of luck with him, I continue shopping. When I get to the check-out, there she is in line and graciously waves for me to go ahead of her since I have fewer items.

"Do you play tennis?" she asks and I laugh out loud.

It's the skirt I have on - an athleticwear skirt with shorts built in and a gift at that - that no doubt caused her to guess I had even one athletic bone in my body. No, I can walk long distances but zero hand/eye coordination, I tell her, placing my groceries on the belt.

Turns out she teaches tennis to the 40+ set on clay courts in Northside ("Much easier on our knees") and she suggests I give tennis a try. Her confidence about my tennis potential is matched only by her positive attitude about the results of sleeping with this new man.

We are soul sisters in unfounded optimism. Introductions are made and email addresses exchanged.

I couldn't turn off the sign on my forehead if I wanted to, but the truth is, why would I want to?

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