Pasta for One

They say you’re given signs in strange ways to let you know you’re on the right path.

For me, apparently, all it took was a box of $1.50 pasta.

Going into this journey, I wasn’t sure if the process would work. I knew I could write about it. I knew I could talk about it. I knew I could actually do it (or I at least hoped) – but for the whole idea to produce results…I had no clue.

Slowly and gradually, I’ve noticed subtle changes in the way I think and the way I talk to myself. I’ve noticed a little bit more confidence and a little less negativity. I’ve noticed different feelings and different approaches and a kinda-different me.

But yesterday, I noticed a sincere transformation…without even trying.

After a very wonderful 40-minute run at the gym (beat my time!) and a lovely nighttime talk with my parents, I headed towards my neighborhood grocery store to buy what I had been thinking about all day: spinach and garlic pasta. Smothered in butter, garlic, and olive oil. Yummm.

I admired the sight and the smell of the barrels of apples on the way in (amazed they put them outside), took a sample of a cheesecake as I passed (hurried actually) by the bakery, and then headed down the escalator for some pasta and spinach.

I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing, stopping to smell the flowers on the stand, taking a double look at the produce, and as I approached the spinach – I about ran right into a handsome stranger reaching for the leafy-greens too.

We both said “Excuse me!” and smiled, and then continued studying what we would like. I figured out which one fit my fancy before he did and I politely scooped past him to head to the aisle over. I didn’t really think too much of the encounter (I did turn around to check out his backside…just because I could) and quickly got distracted by the cookies calling my name.

As I was deciding if I wanted cinnamon, chocolate chip, or sugar, I noticed the same guy walk by out of the corner of my eye as he passed the aisle. Again, I didn’t pay extreme attention to his presence, but then, he stopped and came by the aisle just as I was reaching for my cookies (I went with cinnamon, if you’re wondering). We both laughed and shared a smile as he went by me. He turned red, grabbed a box of something, grinned again, and walked away.

At this point, I’m flattered and intrigued, but not too worried about it. I continued my shopping and then headed upstairs to checkout. I crossed by the sushi bar and again, barely out of my sight I saw the same dark haired, dark-eyed, and handsome stranger in the green jacket buying some meat in the deli.

I got in line and then looked back at him again. My mind started to read into things a little bit, “He is very cute. He is in my sight. I mean, basically he is right in front of me. We ran into each other twice. Not just once, but two times. That means something…maybe? That’s a romantic way to meet The One, right?”

I looked around at the line, which was quickly wrapping itself around the middle of the floor. “If I get out now, how long will I have to wait? I still have Dancing with the Stars and Desperate Housewives to catch up on. And my spinach pasta! I mean…I’m in workout clothes. But hey, it’s spandex. And he is cute…”

I tried to think about if I had business cards or what I would say. I didn’t really need any meat, but should I pass up on this opportunity? What if I never see him again?

And then, I snapped out of it. He’s just a guy. He’s a guy I’ve never heard his voice before. He’s just some guy getting some groceries. He isn’t worth losing my spot in line, delaying my pasta, or making me nervous.

So I didn’t do anything. I turned right back around, waited in line, and bought my groceries. I hit the streets and didn’t look back once.

As I walked home, I realized that I had taken the pressure off myself in an instant. I talked myself back down to reality, out of the love-addict mentality, and moved on. I wasn’t upset or disappointed (as I shouldn’t have been) that he didn’t come chasing after me – I just accepted the random multi-meeting as just that.

When I returned to my apartment, I was so at peace, so excited, and just content with where I was in my life. Of course, my apartment is smaller than most Manhattan cubicles and I’m not living in luxury – but I do have myself. And this gal is making some progress in her love-seeking madness. And this gal is fine – regardless of any handsome stranger or chance encounter happens or not.

After all, sometimes, pasta for one just simply hits the spot.

11 thoughts on “Pasta for One

  1. I love how you are falling in love with your self :)
    Isn’t it a great feeling? I’ve been there, “multiple” encounters with a guy who I could see myself with but I snap out of it and back to reality and leave by myself but leave stronger, wiser, and independent!

  2. What you need to remember in these encounters is that you’re not the only one experiencing them. Take pride in receiving the “smile-backs” as little reminders that your “handsome stranger” likely noticed you for the same reasons you noticed him.
    I started a personal campaign back in high school to always smile at people (so long as I’m not in a bad mood) because maybe in some small way I can brighten their day…I think you probably brightened his and he probably found your encounter blogworthy too.
    Little encounters and smiles are the stuff of life…and pasta.

  3. What an excellent, excellent post. I’m in love with this post. And pasta!

    I don’t know you, but reading this made me really happy for you. Very inspiring. :)

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