Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Dear Cruel World,
Today I learned that the beautiful man who works at Trader Joe's and also jump-ropes in the parking lot has been forbidden to do so. Not not work, but no jump-roping in the parking lot. I learned this when I pushed my cart to his register, as he scanned my items. I struck up a conversation. A melon, a bottle of wine, a spiral-sliced ham, a smile. How's the jump-roping? I asked. He looked up and smiled. Not allowed to do it anymore, he said. What? I restrained myself from shouting. Why? I know there are many of you Angelenos out there who know what I'm talking about, and if you're not an Angeleno, read between the lines.
Evidently customers had complained, so management told him that he couldn't jump-rope anymore.
Reader, I am crushed. I have been watching this guy jump-rope for the eighteen years that I've lived in Los Angeles and shopped at this particular Trader Joe's. I don't want to sound all creepy and middle-agey pathetic womany, but that beautiful man jumping rope in hot weather and cold was like a mirage in the desert of -- well -- everything. He was thrilling. Sexy. Water. An inspiration. A fantasy.
I can't imagine who would complain about him or why. I took it upon myself to tell him so and then -- thank God my boys were not with me because they might have died right there on the spot -- I told him how much I'd loved watching him jump-rope and how disappointed I can imagine many, many women were going to be to learn that he wouldn't be there anymore. Hell, I imagine there are many men who are going to be bummed, too. The Jump-Roper lifted my heavy bags into my cart and smiled and thanked me. I didn't tell him how much I'd looked forward to seeing him jump and how I was sustained by the pondering of what else he could do even as I hauled my bags out of my Sexy White Mazda and unbuckled my toddlers from their car-seats, glared at the SUVs in the compact spaces with their "W" stickers back in the day.
Cruel World, why?