Coming Out

Yeah, I’m coming out, confessing some sins. Nothing major.

I like spying on people. I haven’t done any peeping tom sort of thing, no. I like sitting back at the cafe and observing exchanges, body language and expression. I eavesdrop when I can. I like looking at the books they carry to see what they’re reading.

In check-out lines at grocery stores and supermarkets, I eyeball their shopping cart contents to see if they bought the same things as me, and what they bought that I considered, or should be considering. Sometimes the stuff I see in their cart make me wonder, “What the hell are you thinking?” I hope, from quantities being purchased, and the items, that they’re having a party, and inviting others to eat all that junk they’re buying. One curiosity that I’ve noticed is that stores are now full of ice cream novelties, but I rarely see them in shopping carts. I think those are an item that we eschew buying when we’re shopping, and run out to get late at night, when fewer people are around, so we can hurry in, furtively purchase them, and then rush home and devour them.

Purses intrigue. They’re usually pretty big. When someone has a small purse, I think, “Does that work?” When women open their purses, I peer in, slightly hoping that I’ll see them carrying a gun or something else that seems interesting or unusual. Most purses I’ve looked into are dark, cluttered messes, though. I usually don’t see much beyond keys, wallets, check books, money, notes and receipts. Oh yeah, tissues, gum, and cough drop. Sometimes they’ll have a cookie, cracker, or piece of fruit.

Of course, we’re all spies at restaurants, peering over at other people’s tables to see what they’re eating. Oh, is that what I ordered? is often asked. But sometimes, I lament, oh, I should’ve ordered that. Sometimes I think, geez, I’m glad I didn’t order that.

Thanks to my wife, I now also check out shoes.  Shopping with her has made me more aware of shoes. It’s not a foot fetish, but a curiosity. I’m conservative when it comes to footwear. I have a rule that I don’t wear tennis or running shoes with jeans or long pants, and I don’t don Saddle Oxfords or penny loafers with my shorts. Some people’s choices startle me, but I’m also envious that they’ll put things like that on their feet. What courage…or insanity.

I draw the line at tall, stiletto heels. They look insanely uncomfortable. I’m constantly irked by television shows and movies that feature a female detective doing a foot chase in very high heels, whether they’re boots, sandals, or fancy dress shoes. I just haven’t seen many women run fast in those in, quote, real life. My wife always says, “If women need to run and they’re in shoes like that, they’ll take them off.”

So, yeah, coming out. Pretty boring, and pretty average. That’s me. Coming out average. You should see my shopping cart.


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