Sunday, June 11, 2006

Life is beautiful in Northern Virginia today.

At the grocery store, I always hope to get carded. I realize it's a silly insecurity thing, but with my 28th birthday only slightly over a month away, I feel 30 creeping up on me. The little reminders that I'm young become important.

The checkout guy takes my bottle of Chardonnay and looks at it thoughtfully.

"ID please, Ma'am?" The "Ma'am" adds a bit of a chill to getting carded, but I'm still glad to be carded.

I hand over my ID and he studies it for a moment.

"July birthday," He says.

"But July of '78, so I've been legal for awhile."

"My birthday is July, too." He say, "the 22nd."

I find it helpful to know the dates of the astrological signs for when people tell me their birthday for no apparent reason. (Also, sometimes I hold up the paper and ask someone their birthday so I can read them their sign. Then I go write their birthday on my calendar and send them a card when it comes around. They always forget that they've told me and are pleasantly surprised.)

"Ah," I said to checkout guy, whose name was Fakhri. "Well, the astrologers would say you're a Cancer most of the way to Leo. I'm sensitive, but you're both sensitive and tough. You don't let people boss you around." My voice is light and arguably a bit flirty.

"Yeah," he said, scanning my asparagus. "When people try to run over me, I say, "NO!"

"I'm wussier," I cheerily admit to Fakhri. "I like it when people get along."

"Yeah," he said. My total popped up on the screen and I ran my credit card. "People getting along is very important. Very good."

He hands me my receipt and as I turn around to put my last bag back in my cart, I see the lady in line behind me. She's looking at me like she's thinking "Am *I* going to have to make astrology chitchat to get out of here today?"

And normally, I would totally be that person.

Not today, for whatever reason. Maybe because I'm making french food for theCSO and several good friends tonight. Maybe because I'm headed down to the Pride Festival in a few hours to meet another old friend. Maybe because the weather is perfect in suburban Washington today.

I take my groceries outside and as I'm packing my stuff into the trunk of my car, the parking lot attendent comes to take my cart away.

"It's a beautiful day!" he exclaims.

"I know, isn't it?" I bubble.

He's happy. I'm happy. And I drive away.


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