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Dancing Oranges and Risky Situations

Updated: Mar 19

"Please don't touch my butt." I whispered this phrase to myself as I stared awkwardly into a stranger's eyes, his breath almost steaming up my glasses.

It was a precarious position to be in. The produce aisle seemed tame enough. It's about the only aisle in Trader Joe's with enough room for two shopping carts to pass each other without certain collision. But whomever thought stacking a mountain of round objects as high as gravity will allow with nothing but themselves for support had an alternate plan...most likely an evil one.

They beckon to you. Ombre color scheme. Waxed and shiny. Bulbous, glowing orbs of citrus right within reach. You know you want to touch. It's been months since you've seen the sun. Months since you've tasted fresh lemonade. Months since a crisp, green salad was within your reach let alone palatable. No one blames you for caressing their soft, smooth skin. No one faults you for maybe fondling a few--picking one up and gently squeezing it; holding it to your nose and inhaling if only to let your imagination wander to a tropical place where a breeze is welcome, not arresting and violent like a Pennsylvanian February gale.

I may or may not have been doing any of those above mentioned things. It's irrelevant. I was however, reaching for an orange. One, single, solitary orange. I did not fondle, did not squeeze. I reached for one and went on about my merry way. That was until about six more oranges, no doubt desperate to hitch a ride out of there,, I say leapt off the shelf after me and rolled across the floor; hiding under carts, tripping up shoppers in snow boots, and catching the eye of a well-intentioned older gentlemen looking to rescue damsels in distress.

With cat like reflexes I blocked the mountain-high, glistening, marketing ploy of imported Cara-Cara oranges from avalanching and flooding the aisles by quickly anchoring my backside (i.e. butt) against the shelf and spreading my arms out behind me to catch any that escaped around my sides. The aforementioned well-meaning man ran to my rescue but upon approaching quickly realized that the only way to grasp the orange that was precariously teetering over the edge would be to risk also grabbing a piece of my ass. This brings us to me silently whispering "please don't touch my butt." Out of the corner of my eye I could see him tentatively stretch out his arm, draw it back, duck under my armpit and try to reach out his arm again, only to whip it back and stand behind me. "This is rich," I thought.

I whipped around, pressing my pelvis against the shelf so that I could use my hands to wrangle oranges but only then found myself whispering, "please don't grab my crotch" as the gentleman now did a hop/dance around me wondering if he should embrace me from behind and risk a worse encounter than a butt grab or just stand there awkwardly. Luckily for me, both my private parts were untouched.

"Ever see that movie with Carey Grant?" He asked after handing me an orange from the floor-his only contribution to the near avalanche escape.

"What movie?" I asked, pretending that my brain hadn't jumped five steps ahead and imagined knocking him out for groping me.

"They do an orange dance. It's pretty funny. Great dancing. You should watch it. Carey Grant is a great actor."

Watching it only confirmed my suspicion that he was thinking EXACTLY what I was thinking.

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