The Smoothie Place

There's a smoothie place on the first floor of my apartment building.

The Good Things:

-It's close

-I enjoy smoothies

-There's a 70% chance that the attractive girl who works behind the counter finds me handsome, and at least a 15% chance that she finds me rugged

The Awkward Things:

-The place is owned by a former NFL Pro-Bowler (whose name I'll omit-- we'll call him Darnell), who I caught out with a woman that wasn't his wife one night. Both Darnell and his wife are in the shop often. I know that he was with that other woman that night. When he sees me, he knows I know. And I know he knows I know. Worst, he knows that I know he knows I know. Which lends an unusual tension to my visits to the shop, especially since his wife is usually present. But she doesn't know. And even if she does, she definitely doesn't know I know. I know, I know, I've left you with no choice but to suddenly think "know" looks weird now, like it looks like some weird Japanese word.

-Darnell's wife has recently become aware of my existence as one of their customers. She now says, "Hi, Tim" when I walk in, which leaves me with absolutely no choice but to say, "Hi, Diane." But I really don't want to say "Hi, Diane." 90% of the time I'm in there I'm in a massive rush because I'm late, which means I'm in "hurried, irritated prick" mode. And yet, I say, "Hi, Diane."

-Diane has aggressively been pressuring me to begin carrying their card, whereby I'd collect a stamp on each visit, in hopes of reaching 9, at which time I'd receive a free smoothie. I have absolutely no desire to own this card. But Diane hasn't noticed. Every time I come in she asks if I have a "buy 9 get 1 free" card, and every time I say no. Then, at that moment, there's a hideous 2 second period, where it hits her that not only do I not have one, but I don't want one. These 2 seconds are the worst 2 seconds of my day. Cumulatively, they combine into the worst 3 minutes of my life.*

That said, there is a twist. One day not too long ago, the hot high-schooler asked me if I wanted the "buy 9 get 1 free" card. Enduring the 2 seconds from hell with Diane is one thing, but with this girl things were more complicated. My first instinct was to play it from the rugged angle, and say no, hoping she would think it was because I was the kind of guy who played by my own rules. But instead I folded, and said yes. Now I have a card, and they know I have a card, and I know they know I have a card. So I've been taking it out and getting it stamped daily. And each stamp is like 100 pounds of self-loathing being hammered into my wretched soul.

*This phenomenon is not limited to the smoothie place. Dozens of cashiers and I endure these 2 seconds annually. Like yesterday at Barnes and Noble, when a plump, sprightly cashier asked if I had their Rewards Card, and upon hearing the negative, embarked upon an advertisement of the various rewards it would entail. Her final word marked the beginning of an atrocious 2 seconds for both of us, after which I paid and left.


Anonymous said...

significantly better than your last entry. well done, buddy

Anonymous said...

GREAT call with the awkwardness associated with refusing a businesses "rewards" card. Happens to me all the time.