I am. I admit it. I am an absolute cornball. Not only do I secretly listen to really bad and really cheesy pop music on occasion (*gasp*), I also have a silly infatuation with office and school supplies. I love spiral bound notebooks and new packages of pencils. I love folders and highlighters and binders. A new box of crayons makes my heart do a little flippity-flop. And don't even get me started on how much I adore post-it notes! I just can't handle it.
It's no surprise I went to Staples today, cruising the vast aisles in search of these:
(WOO-WEE!!!! Saw an online ad for them and KNEW I had to have them.)
You bet I found them! And with minimal disturbance from the kids, too. (Only one "hiccup" from the Cam Man over a small, dry erase board. I said he couldn't have it; he laid down in the protractor aisle.) A nice girl with raven-black hair and an exorbitant amount of dark eyeliner ("emo?" or "misunderstood?") smiled her best "Staples employee" smile (more like a tired grimace) and offered to help me at her checkout stand.
In the middle of the transaction, an elderly man approached from behind and asked for assistance. Seconds later, he saw me and said to the Staples employee, "Oh! I'm sorry. You finish helping this gentleman first."
Naturally, his comment caught my attention! I turned around, looked right at him, and smiled. His jaw dropped. "Oh my goodness! I am...so sorry," he stammered. "You are a lady! I'm sorry! I...I...I didn't know...because of your hat. I'm so sorry."
(Side note: I was wearing an Old Navy baseball cap.)
Clearly, this man was flustered. I could tell he felt bad. So, in true "Aleisha fashion," I acted like a cornball. You see, I have this thing I do whenever I am nervous or uncomfortable. I always, always say something really stupid or really embarrassing, in a vain (and lame) attempt to be funny. You know...to lighten the mood. To help everyone feel less uncomfortable. Call it a coping mechanism. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism. Maybe, simply, it's a cornball mechanism. Sometimes it works; most often I end up sticking my foot (clad in pretty, polka-dot flats) in my mouth.
I turned to the blundering man and said, "It's alright. I DO look like a guy, especially with this hat on. With my hat, my short hair, and my flat chest, it is easy to make that mistake."
He just looked at me. The mom that was third in line, buying school supplies with her kids, just looked at me. The "emo checker" just looked at me. I giggled nervously, like a five-year-old, and lugged Cam up onto my hip. I simultaneously grabbed my purchase and Lilly's hand, and bolted for the door.
As I ran across the sweltering parking lot, my brain was screaming: "Foot in your mouth! FOOT IN YOUR MOUTH!!"
Later, I was telling McHubby my Staples story. When I told him what I said, his comment was: "Oh no! You didn't!?! Good one, Aleisha! You probably made the situation more awkward by drawing attention to your chest. I mean, he was an old man!" Ugh!
So before I go to bed tonight, I'll write, "I will NOT make comments about my lack of boobs to old men in Staples," one hundred times. I think I'll write it in my Justin Bieber notebook. I'll use my spiffy, new, leopard-print pen.