My burrito goggles are like beer goggles, only it is lunch time and I am not drinking. And burrito goggles don’t make people better looking, they make them look like they might be Ethiopian.
The longer I sit in this restaurant eating my burrito and stealing furtive looks at the guy at the table across from me the more I am convinced he is from the Horn of Africa.
Problem is he is too hot to just, “Selam.”
After my experience “Selaming” a very NOT hot man two weeks ago I am a bit more cautious. I “Selamed” him. He said, “Why did you say that to me?” I said, “Oh, sorry, I thought you might be Ethiopian.” He raised his eyebrows and said, “I could be Ethiopian.” Yeah. Incredibly uncomfortable. By the way, if I ever do decide to pick up guys at 4 pm on a Friday, I will wear mascara, oh, and I will SHOWER.
I keep looking and I am thinking thoughts like, “He eats like a North American.”
And, “I wish someone would talk to him so I know if he has an accent.”
And, “I don’t know many young Ethiopians who shave their heads.”
Um, reality check. The vast majority of young Ethiopians I know are five and under. Their mothers don’t let them use razors.
To make matters worse I am staring straight at him. He is sitting in a normal…
Wait, he is getting up, oh, his shoes look Ethiopian. DAMN – HE JUST LEFT. DAMN! Missed opportunity.
Well, back to why that was super uncomfortable. He was sitting the “normal” way in this restaurant; facing the windows so you can watch life go by on the street. I am facing the OPPOSITE way – so I can plug in my laptop. There was no-one in between us. So basically it was almost like we were sharing a table. We were about seven feet away from each other and looking directly at each other. EXCEPT – after he caught me staring I never looked up from my keyboard again.
I intentionally choose this restaurant because it is on campus. The number of colors and cultures represented at any point in time is fantastic. Also, I can sit here and eat a burrito while stealing WiFi from the Starbucks next door. Part of the reason I come here is with the secret hope of running into Ethiopians. The reason I bring my kids here is so they can see the many “Shades of People.”
Lesson learned, I need to get back to being bold. If someone thinks I am trying to pick them up, so be it. I actually ended up having an interesting conversation with that guy a couple weeks ago after it became VERY clear to him that I wasn’t hitting on him.
For the sake of my son, I will force myself to talk to strangers, even if they are hot. (The sacrifices of a mother never end.)
And, I will remember to always check the shoes. Because when it comes to stereo-typing people the shoes are as good a place to start as any.