I have a slightly embarrassing story for you today. Or a funny story. Either way, I think it’s pretty entertaining…
The year was 2004, I was 20 years old, and working at Barnes and Noble. I loved this job to pieces. I was surrounded by magazines and books all day, had a discount at the (Starbucks) coffee shop and on all the books, and got to interact with people. To this day, it was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
Part of the job meant working the cash register, which I personally loved. I’m a people person and I loved chatting with all the customers. At Barnes and Noble, they always had different albums playing over the sound system—usually it was a new, up and coming artist.
On this particular day, and at this particular time, a song was playing that sounded vaguely familiar. I had heard it on the radio before, but couldn’t quite put my finger on what song it was. This was well before Shazaam, so my co-worker and I were trying to figure out the song by attempting to sing the lyrics. That’s when the most gorgeous guy appeared in the queue. He had somewhat shaggy hair (not too out of control, but styled just enough to let you know that he cared), nice fitting jeans, and some thicker-framed glasses. He didn’t look like he was trying to be preppy or emo, he just looked cool.
This was before I met my husband, so I was still on the
prowl lookout for a boyfriend, and what better place to find the man of my dreams than at a place where we shared similar interests? Anyway, so I see this guy and secretly wish I’ll be the next available cashier so I can help him. As luck would happen, he was mine! (So to speak, of course.)
So I start ringing him up, but I play it cool by not necessarily talking to him. I was keeping things aloof (guys like that, right?). My coworker and I were still trying to figure out the song that was playing, but just couldn’t put our fingers on it. She was two seconds away from calling upstairs to the music department when Hotty McCoolPants whispered under his breath, “You’re beautiful.”
Well that shut me up! Somehow, with my jaw dropped and my heart beginning to jump out of my chest, I managed to mutter, “Excuse me?!”
This time he had my full attention. His presence captivated me and I sheepishly looked up and caught his gaze. Looking straight into his gorgeous eyes, he said again, “You’re beautiful.”
At this point, my coworker a few steps over heard him say it and stared at us wide-eyed, eager to see where this was going. We were putting on a show. Or he, rather, was putting on a show. I, on the other hand, turned so red I could literally feel my cheeks getting warm. I was speechless, but my mind was going a mile a minute: OH. Em. GEE. This guy just told me that I’m beautiful. But he’s the beautiful one! What do I do? Play it cool? No! Tell him thank you. No! Just pretend he didn’t say it…he must’ve made a mistake…twice?
In the middle of my internal dialog, Hotty McCoolPants pipped up again: “You’re Beautiful. That’s the name of this song. It’s by James Blunt.”
And with that comment, I thanked him for the info, gave him whatever
crappy book he was buying in a bag and wished him a swell day. And prayed that he’d leave the store as fast as humanly possible.