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Recently, I was hopelessly lost in a grocery store wine aisle when someone next to me said, “Excuse me.  I think you’re very beautiful, and I was wondering if you’d like to get together for coffee sometime.”  Apparently he didn’t notice the four family-sized chocolate bars, two bags of chocolate chips, and box of butter in my cart, soon to be topped off with a bottle of wine.  Talk about giving someone a crystal ball into their future.

Focusing on the man that asked me out, I’ve got to say that I was very impressed by his approach.  First, he had me a “beautiful,” which every chick loves to hear.  He was calm, not sweating, had a nice tone of voice, and was wearing a nice casual outfit.  If I’d felt the least bit of a spark, I would have been on him as fast as those four chocolate bars were about to be on my hips.  However, there are a few things that I would suggest to tweak his approach.

First, he should have stood back and waited for me to look away from the wine.  I’m sure it would have happened sooner or later.  Then he should have made eye contact from a ways down the aisle and sent me a warm smile.  This gives me a chance to not only notice him and his friendliness but to decide if I’m interested and to send a flirty smile back.  No flirty smile equals “don’t ask her.”  If I never looked up from the wine, he could have “accidentally” brushed my shoulder when walking by, said, “Oh, excuse me,” and then paused for some meaningful eye contact, letting me know his interest.

Another useful pointer would be to not hold your fingertips to each other like villains do in movies while you ask someone out.  If you look like Lex Luther formulating his evil plan, I might get the whole “Ted Bundy” vibe and decline.

My third suggestion would be to always check the left ring finger of someone you’re interested in.  If they’re married, you’re going to get shot down – unless you’re one of the last two guys I dated.  Be sure to check the right hand too because some Europeans wear their wedding band on that hand.  If it’s mitten season, you’re outta luck on this suggestion.

Lastly, look in their cart before you get your flirt on.  A woman buying beer, chips, and Sports Illustrated might send the signal she’s already with someone.  If she’s not, she’s every man’s dream, and you should get your flirt on STAT.  A guy buying chocolate and feminine products may be in a relationship with a woman…or have a young mother…or get nose-bleeds a lot.  Approach with caution.

Even if you get shot down, don’t feel discouraged or embarrassed.  Not only does practice make perfect, but the man in the grocery store made my week.  Looking back, if I hadn’t been so startled, I wish that I would have complimented him on his approach.  It takes a lot of courage to do that, I find it terribly romantic, and, hey, that’s the stuff movies are made of!

Happy grocery dating — I mean shopping — I mean dating!

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