Yesterday afternoon, while enjoying a bit of sun and an iced coffee on a bench at City Hall Park, I turned to the bohemianesque girl on my right and asked her, "Where did you get that awesome-looking salad?" She told me (a little place on Murray Street ... oh, was it Murray Street? she asked her friend ... yeah, Murray Street, and their stuff is really good), I thanked her, and then I went on smiling into the sunshine with what could only be mistaken for bonhomie.
Outwardly, that is. Because inside I was cringing.
Had I really just described a stranger's salad as awesome-looking? When do I ever say "awesome-looking"? Never. What's next? Was I going to compliment her on her "rad" tattoo? Or, worse, her "rad tatt"? (For the record, the tattoo, on her left upper arm, was actually quite nifty: a bold black depiction of a fist clutching a flower. I think.)
I asked about her salad as if I actually planned to go get one for myself because it was just so awesome-looking. I asked knowing I wasn't going to dash to the really great place on Murray Street and get an awesome-looking salad just like hers (chickpeas! chopped red pepper! balsamic vinaigrette! the greenest of greens!). I knew this because I knew that as soon as I vacated the bench, one of the vulture-like bench-seeking lunchsters hovering with a white plastic bag containing a square, plastic take-out container full of something lunchy, would quickly fill my seat and I wouldn't be able to reclaim it when I returned with my own awesome-looking salad. Plus, I was wearing a fresh, crisp white shirt that doesn't lend itself to the risks of leaning over a plastic take-out container and forking food the distance between it and my mouth.
So I sat there and cringed at my choice of words. I squinted into the sun, hoping the crunch of my face would appear, to passersby, to be a result of the sun's brilliance and not the self-loathing brought on by my momentarily less than stellar vocabulary.
fresh-baked at 10:08 AM
P.S. For lunch I had falafel. At home. After changing into a non-fresh, non-crisp, non-white shirt. Not the most awesome-looking of shirts, but so what.