Tuesday, 22 June 2010

I still have "it". Oh yes.

Tiny post. Not a good week.

Remember Damien the groping grocer (mentioned here and here)? I doubt it. Not unless you've been hanging around here far too long.

He operates out of this august establishment just round the corner from the CFO's house:

When I lived there, he used to address me exclusively as "jolie voisine". Damien, who must be in his late forties, doesn't get out much, if at all. He has worked in his father's corner shop all his life and his eyes are filled with the desperation of a red blooded male who spends 16 hours a day selling tiny single tins of cat food to ladies in their 80s. He is a great favourite with the ladies in their 80s with whom he still flirts reflexively, politely, dead eyed with murder in his mind. I have every expectation that when his father eventually dies (he is 88 and has only ever taken 4 days off work, after major surgery), he will either turn the corner shop into a lap dancing club, or run away to one of the seedier corners of Thailand.

I went into his shop for the first time since I moved out today. I am looking HAWT at the moment, really like you wouldn't believe. My face is about double its normal volume with crying and all red and puffy. I am wearing no make up and my eyes are so small and naked mole rat-esque that they are barely visible. One side of my face is all covered in bruised and scabby bits (it's a very sad, horrible, dumb luck kind of story with no redeeming features that would induce me to tell it, but don't worry noone has been hitting me). I am walking like a one legged arthritic donkey. To add to the pretty vision, I am wearing leggings I slept in, an ancient polo shirt with a fine dusting of dog hair and an inspid floral Marks & Spencer skirt of the kind favoured by ladies of a certain age to attend the village fĂȘte. I have not washed today. I am really quite the foxy lady. People were crossing the road to avoid me as I staggered, talking intermittently to my dog on a piece of string, to collect Fingers from school.

Aaaanyway. We stopped off for a carton of juice in Damien's lair.

"Emma!" said Damien, his arms open in greeting, smiling broadly. "It's been so long!"

He never used to call me by my name. This is clearly special "single lady" talk.

Then he came out from behind his counter, past the rows of bottles of cheap Algerian wine, and the packets of Knorr soup and the unidentifiable meat products, motes of dust dancing in his wake. The shop smells of 1979. I know this, because I remember the corner shops in York having exactly that smell when I used to go and buy penny chews there in my infancy.

"I must kiss you!" I thought he was talking to Oscar at this point. Sadly he was not. He grabbed me by the shoulders and kissed me on the cheek. My greasy, puffy, stained cheek.

"You are looking RAVISSANTE".

"No, I'm not. I had an accident".

"Yes you are! You are Emma! You are looking RAVISSANTE".

"Um, yeah. Ok. I'm going now. Bye"

"Goodbye EMMA. Come back soon. RAVISSANTE!"

As soon as we were out of earshot, I called the CFO.

"Damien is moving in on me now you're out of the picture. He kissed me. And used my name lots of times. He WANTS me".

The CFO laughed joyously and at length.

"We could be neighbours again!"

"I thought you'd enjoy that. That's all".

Then Fingers and I staggered on home. Things may be pretty shit right now but I have options. OH YES. I have options.


Anonymous said...

Hahahahaaa! It's good to have options, even if you never call upon them. Get better!


Anonymous said...

reminds me of the option i have off the affable turk down the road who sells 'special kebabs' (that being their actual title. supposedly made out of 'special meat' he's procured off the back of some dodgy nissan in the back alley by market square). i went in for a falafel ONCE (and i have valid alcohol related excuses for even considering offering him my custom) and he went into great detail about how he wanted to make me his 'bride'. supposedly we'd rule over the land of meat rotisseries and drunken, feral youth together and i would never have to spend a single cent on nourishment ever again?
what's not to love?!
he now waves at me serenely whenever i walk past the window, in the manner of an enchanted betrothed in some chivalric romance and i find myself having to explain to all and sundry the intimacies of my relationship with kebab-man.
damian sounds like a catch, comparatively speaking. and i like the sound of co-owning a lap dancers club. any excuse for a basque and a feather boa and i'm there.

Xtreme English said...

ah, belgium....magical place. no matter how bad things are here in the city of satan, they're somehow funnier and more hopeful over there. (you think i jest?)

Anonymous said...

The only man who has shown any interest in me in months (and that includes my husband, unfortunately) was his workmate. And he turns out to be a drunkard who gets his willy out in pubs. And actually got his willy caught up in someone's handbag zip at the Walkabout bar JUST LAST FRIDAY. So, count yourself lucky - Damian sounds like a comparative catch.

E and M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E and M said...

Damian is a rank amateur - I have to deal regularly with a middle-aged loon at work who tells me that 'only whores wear blusher' and I am too much of an angel to sully my perfection with the harlotry of cosmetics, or words to that effect (I once painted on Aunt Sally cheeks with red Mac colour cream when I knew he was going to come in - he just stared at me even more than usual whilst everyone else looked at me agog).

He also brings me lovingly-drawn pastel sketches of me (looking at least 3 stone heavier, grrr) in various 'sensual' burlesque poses. Which I burn.

I call him Ted Flanders as he looks exactly like Ned Flanders' grumpy sex-pest older brother. What a catch!

It's the law that all women over 30 have to a have a freak fancy them, isn't it?

PS Pedantically removed last comment cos of typo.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. This post sounded awfully sad and poignant underneath the jokes, and I am officially Concerned.

Damian sounds a proper gent!

Alison Cross said...

LMAO! I am only hoping that the accident to which you allude was the result of some wobbly high-heel work at a drink-addled giggle-fest.

Ali x

M. said...

I have Dale the creepy building manager. Today he put on a fake french accent for me in the lift. We were not alone.

Pueblo girl said...

Hah! Three days into separation, the man who came to tow my car away invited me to join him on holiday. We give off divorced pheromones. Prepare yourself!

WrathofDawn said...

Oh, it not only is the law that all women over 30 have to have some freak fancy them, it is an international law.

Post divorce, I had cause to call Consumer Affairs (The Department of Government Services provides accessible, responsive services in the areas of public health and safety, environmental protection, occupational health and safety, consumer protection, and in the preservation of vital events and commercial transactions, is what they're called when they're at home.) due to a local paving firm attempting to rip me off.

The "gentleman" who took my call, proceeded to tell me I didn't sound local (I don't), asked if "ladies" from my province enjoyed beer and proceeded to suggest I should frequent a local pub, the like in which I have never wanted to set foot. He then informed me he should come to my house to inspect my driveway personally. Unfortunately, I had already given him my address before I realized he was a nutter, so couldn't head him off at the pass that way.

Despite several assurances that such personalized service would not be necessary, the following Sunday found me exiting my house to walk the dog only to have a gnome-ish creep in full-blown mid-life crisis (red Mustang, CHECK!, clad head-to-toe in denim, CHECK!)with a small dog on a leash, emerge and head towards me. It was Mr. Consumer Affairs, who thought he'd just pay a social call on me.

I explained in minute detail just how crazy his actions made him appear and how unlikely my accompanying him anywhere would now be.

It was supposed to be Consumer Affairs, not affairs with consumers...

Anonymous said...

Poor Jaywalker,

At least you can still smile at Damian's transparent motives.... Get better soon!

Margaret said...

You have all made me very depressed because I am halfway through my 40s yet have no unwanted middle-aged admirers. I don't count Random Sketchy Guys on the street enthusiastically yelling You look good today, mami! because, quite frankly, I do not think they are offering me a lasting commitment. What am I doing wrong that all I get is half-hearted (and confusing*) play from the vaguely creepy checkout guy at Trader Joe's?

*It was the day after Mother's Day and he asked if I'd celebrated--I said no, I don't have kids. Then he asked if I was married and when I answered yes, he said well lots of couples call each other Mom and Dad. I said Uh yeah, if they have kids, otherwise it's kind of weird. "Oh no, I think it's nice!" It felt like flirting, yet WTF? So that's all I got.

Lisa-Marie said...

It must be quite good to know that even looking not your best with a scabby face, someone who will inherit a shop wants you. Even if you don't want them!

That's Not My Age said...

I fell off my bike and landed on my face just before my brother's wedding. Tell you what though, the hideously bruised/scabby side of my face made the uninjured side look more attractive. This is obviously what happened in the corner shop. Damian saw your good side!

Anonymous said...

Dear Belgian Waffle,
Hope you reach a happier place soon. I am amazed at your ability to write so well and make people laugh even when things may not be going so well in your world.
Yours is a rare talent.
Be kind to yourself! You have a lot of (non-creepy) admirers out there.

From Belgium said...

I am as the say 'with child' and ever since I started showing some 'babybelly' a creepy guy from the fourth floor started showing an interest in me. Asking me if he has to rub my feet, my back. Touching my belly (without permission, which led to me nearly giving him a black eye) and cooing over it.
This is seriously disturbing.

Z said...

The CFO is the most fabulous man I've ever not met. His reactions are spot on.

WV horylice. No, none of us has ever suffered from them. Not nohow.

puncturedbicycle said...

I'm so sorry you are not feeling your best. If it's any consolation, I regularly leave the house dressed similarly, including stuff I have slept in, untouched by soap or water.
I have no grocery flirtations, unless you include the time the bloke at the local shop asked if I liked Indian sweets. Caught off-guard, I said 'Oh, uh, yeah,' and he took the one in his hand, pinched it in two and gave me half. Caught off-guard again, I took it and ate it. I still feel a bit funny about that.

Madame DeFarge said...

Wow, sounds a real catch, at least you'd never run out of milk ever again.

Corte Inglesa said...

I often read but don't comment, but had to one this one. really made me laugh, but feel sad for you too as you're clearly having a tough time. Props to you for being so strong and brave. Hope you start feeling better soon.

hugs and positive energy from Spain. xxx

Jaywalker said...

Anon 1 - Indeed. Soon I'll be calling back my taxi driving stalker and asking him to take me out.

Anon 2 - Wow. Ruling over the land of meat rotisseries and drunken feral youth sounds both awesome and poetic. Respect.

Xtreme English - Are you on drugs?????

Harridan - Ah yes, The Walkabout. I can quite imagine.

WoD - You have the finest collection of single lady stories ever. I loved your illiterate online date. I love this. You make me happy.

Pueblo Girl - See, it should be possible to harness that to good effect, but no. Not at all.

HFF - Ah, I'll be ok.

M - Ah, Dale. I bet he lets himself into your office at night to stare at your abandoned potatoes.

E&M - Oh MAN. You actually have the best stalker in the world, don't you? I mean 'most deranged'. Wow. I fear for your safety .

Alison - Not really.

Anon 3 - Thank you, I am already much better.

Margaret - Hmm. That is a little creepy, I concur.

LM - I dunno, somehow it's not quite the consolation it should be

TNMA - I think Damien has some kind of hormonally induced blindness actually. If you are female and under 60, you'll do.

Anon.one You are lovely. It's undeserved, but thank you xx

Z - Yeah, he's a very sound chap indeed, may his tortoises remain healthy and his spreadsheets detailed.

puncturedbicycle - it is some reassurance, thank you..

MdF - Yup. Delicious, Belgian UHT milk.

Corte Inglesa - That is lovely of you. I will be ok. I just got a bit broken, and I'm fixing verrrry slowly. xx

From Belgium - blleeeeurgh.

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