Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Yesterday. as I was going through my morning routine, I found myself falling behind schedule and had to forego the usual stop at the cafe near Miss D's daycare. I hopped onto the Yellow Brick Road (I-90), drove through the Enchanted Forest (Mercer Island) and didnt stop till I got to Wonderland (Redmond). Upon arriving in the city that never sleeps (thanks to the 'Softie Geeks pulling all-night coding fests and bug smashes), I decided to stop for my morning nosh at the closest Starbucks, which also happens to be in a Safeway. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and pick up some healthy snacks to keep in the office as I've developed a nasty habit of visiting the vending machines @ work lately and needed something else handy to prevent me from complete and utter self-destruction.

As I wandered through the store, picking up apples and almonds, mulling over what to grab for brekkie, I found myself in the bakery. I smiled to myself as I perused the selection of bagels, thinking back to that fateful day 14 years ago when I was treated to both the worst and the most effective pickup line ever.

I will never forget it.

I had just moved to Phoenix the week before and was shopping at the local Safeway. I was standing in the produce section, pondering the asparagus. All of a sudden this friendly looking gentleman came up to me and said in a lightly accented voice:

"Have you tried the bagels here?".

Snapped out of my asparagus haze, I replied "I'm sorry? What?"

He laughed and repeated the question: "Have you tried the bagels here? They are very good! Just like in New York!"

Me: "Wow...ok! That's good to know! Thank you!"

I'm fuzzy on the conversational details that came after that, but I do know the friendly gentleman accompanied me as I finished the rest of my shopping and then escorted me to the cafe, where we had a lovely little chat. That impromptu coffee date turned into dinner, which led to a three year relationship (off and on) with him. He turned out to be completely unreliable, emotionally, and would occasionally disappear, only to resurface weeks later as if everything was normal. I never knew what his story was but I had my suspicions about him being in a marriage of convenience (he didnt pick up that accent in Phoenix, that's for sure!). "We" eventually ended when I moved away and lost his phone number.

As unavailable as he was, in many respects it was the healthiest relationship I've ever had. I always knew where I stood with him. He never gave me the impression that we were going to be Forever. It was always about the Now and enjoying each other's company without concern for Tomorrow. And even though some will disagree with me, as much as I knew that he was withholding the truth from me, he never told me an outright lie.

After all, those bagels really were as good as the ones in New York!