The scene: Sunday evening, the parking lot of the tiny shopping center near my parents'. I'm sitting in my car which is parked in the alley between the Chinese restaurant and the grocery store, waiting for my mom to pick up takeout.
A young man comes out of the little Italian place next door to the Chinese place. (I know, weird placement, but it works in this town. Case in point: I'm parked in the alley because the lot is full. Amy G. knows where I'm talking about.) He's got a small pizza box with a paper bag on top and he's walking to the passenger side of his red jeep which is just on the other edge of the alley next to my car. He's cute. He looks my way and looks even cuter, so I smile, a little shy smile. And thank God I'm still wearing my church makeup.
He puts the stuff on the passenger seat of the jeep and starts walking toward me a little bit. I'm thinking, no way. Not too long ago, I told myself that the man who's really meant for me would cross a room (or an alley) because he had to talk to me.
At the same time, I notice out of the corner of my eye that my mom is walking across the alley with the bag containing dinner for her, Dad, and me. So as she's reaching the front of my car, he gestures with a smile, and says. . .
"Your coat's caught in your door."
I look down and realize the belt from my little black raincoat, the annoying belt I'm constantly losing, is indeed stuck in the door.
I'm sure I'm blushing as I say, "Thank you," and open the door to fix my coat. He laughs, too, and then he's gone.
Well, actually, my car's behind his jeep at the traffic light on the other side of the shopping center lot, and when the light changes and he turns left and I drive straight, then he's gone.
Maybe he backed off when he saw my mom. Maybe he was just being nice on his way to bringing dinner home to his girlfriend. (Or boyfriend--he did turn left and that's toward Philly.)
Or maybe I should go for Italian next Sunday around 6:15 p.m.