I spent the afternoon at CVS reading Hallmark cards. I've never understood why drug stores sell Hallmark stock. I can hear a wife calling after her husband: "hey, don't forget to pick up toothpaste and a Hallmark card." Maybe it's so that guys, who normally only visit drug stores if they need to get ready for a date, will have everything they need in one place.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
My journey t0o Hallmark deserves brief elucidation.
My day started like any other Saturday. I slept in until hunger and the smell of breakfast drove me from my bed. I debated the merits of showering and settled on a necessity-defined shampoo-less rinse. I skipped my shave. The grease in my hair shined. I couldn't remember the night before but was sure that it was epic, maybe legendary. I ate a breakfast that doubled as a simple carbohydrate extravaganza and sat down on the couch waiting for my sugar high to subside.
Mind racing from the extra calories, I mentally motored through pickup lines. It's a sad testament to my psyche and loneliness that my brain's screen saver is pickup lines. Some would say cheesy lines are also my desktop image, although I argue that this space is filled with dessert foods. Then I remembered I needed toothpaste so I went to CVS.
Sometime in the car on the way to the store, I went on a sugar low. In the midst of my hypoglycemic haze, I wandered into the Hallmark section and began reading cards. I never did pick up the toothpaste.
Six sales people representing two shifts and four departments approached me that afternoon, asking if I needed any help. One of them was the manager. I told them I was looking for love in the Hallmark aisle.
My studies called and, mind still buzzing with pickup and Hallmark lines (which are very similar if you think about it), I wandered into my school's library. It seems like every time I go to the library, no matter how pressing my work obligation is, I end up logging in, plugging in my headphones and watching a couple of hours of Hulu. I call this the Hulu tax. It's the tribute I pay to Jason Kilar.
I was about to start work when I noticed the Belle. There are many words to describe physically attractive females. Hottie, eye candy, cutie, pretty, beautiful, fine, gorgeous, sweet, looker, et cetera. Each term calls a specific image to mind. There are women you would call cute who don't qualify as pretty. There are beautiful women that don't fit the hottie mold.
The best word to describe this girl is "belle." She had a confident presence about her; a flair that seemed sweetly southern. Her gentle confidence was pushed forward by a fine attractiveness. "Beautiful" sold her short but "cutie" sold her cheap. She was a Belle.
The Belle pushed a lightly loaded cart through the library. How long has she worked here? I wondered. She was a gem in any environment, but the Hope Diamond in the midst of the nerdy library regulars. The guy at the terminal next to me held a slack jawed gaze in her direction. Apparently others shared my distraction.
My studies were forgotten. I wracked my brain to remember some of the lines from a Hallmark card. Then I tore out a paper and started writing.
To the Belle at the library:
Somewhere between my open books
You walked today inviting looks
Your stunning beauty so confident
Makes all the guys incompetent
Do you want to go out sometime?
The request at the end was my idea. I added my phone number and grabbed Nicholas Spark's Notebook off a shelf because I'd heard girls like that book. Then I walked past the Belle and handed her the book mumbling "I think there's a note in it." The Belle looked at me and smiled (what a grin!) and took the book. I paused. A beat. And moved back to my terminal. The Belle and I had shared a moment!
I couldn't study. I expected my phone to ring any minute. I had it out in front of me, ready to spring up and leave the library to take her call. It took over an hour before an unknown number buzzed.