I’ll preface this story with news that I am ill.
This is fairly unusual – my best friend announced that he's travelling hundreds of miles to see me this week because, apparently, “I can’t possibly miss the opportunity to see you weak and vulnerable”. Which is nice.
Anyway, I went for a walk on the beach this morning in the drizzle. On the way home, I stumbled into a local coffee shop, to get coffee and a muffin for breakfast. It’s the coffee shop in the next town over, where I was once busted for staring inappropriately at the (admittedly beautiful) young chap working behind the counter.
It’s next to M&S, and I’d popped in to buy myself some comfort food – Percy Pigs are a basic human right when you’re ill, after all. The beautiful young man was working. Bugger.
By pretending to examine the contents of my shopping bags, I managed to order my coffee without looking at him at all (I figured it’s far better to be seen as socially awkward than a pervy old woman). Coffee served, I realised I had a problem. How to carry coffee, muffin and two bags of shopping?
“Oh dear,” I said.
Obviously I looked like I was moments from death, because the beautiful young man took pity on me and said, “Can I carry your shopping to your car for you?”
"Honestly, I’m fine,” I insisted, while trying to repress a sneeze because nothing is more horrifying than a pervy old woman unless it's a pervy old woman covered in snot, after all.
“I insist,” he said. Bless his little cotton socks.
The young chap picked up my shopping while I took the coffee and muffin outside the shop, to where my car was parked. The keys were in my pocket. I had coffee in one hand, and a muffin in the other. It was raining. What to do?
I am blessed with amazing skills of physical co-ordination (cough) so I was able to balance the muffin on top of the coffee and reach a couple of fingers into my jeans pocket to press the ‘unlock’ button and open the car. The young man put my shopping into the car boot and opened my car door so I could get into the front seat.
I sat down, trying to convince myself that I had retained some level of dignity during this interaction. “Thanks,” I smiled, pulling the car door shut.
As I put on the seat-belt, though, I must have squeezed the key fob, which was still in my pocket. The car doors locked. Then double locked. Then the motion sensor kicked in and the car alarm started to go off.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get something out of a pair of damp bootcut jeans while seated in a small car, but it’s not the kind of thing you can do in ten seconds, even if you’re blessed with amazing physical prowess, as I am.
It takes at least 45 horrifying seconds, during which time the beautiful young man will be doing his utmost not to wet himself laughing at the sight of you, and several dozen strangers stop in their tracks to stare in your direction.
And all the time you’ll be wishing you’d just gone with the looking like a pervy old woman thing, because you’ve now become the weird old woman who set off her own car alarm and then had to wriggle around in her car like she was having a seizure to try and get the keys back out.