I feel like the guys at the bike shop were talking smack about me.
You know how it is. You ask one of the sales people a bunch of questions. You let them know what you're looking for and why. And then one of the sales guys' girlfriends comes in and they've put you up to asking her about some women's cycling club and the two sales guys retreat to behind the counter. You're left standing near the front door talking to the girlfriend and you happen to notice the sideways glance of one of the sales guys. Like he's talking about you to the other guy.
How else can this sideways glance be interpreted? You know what a sideways glance is. It's the indirect look that's supposed to disguise the fact that a person is talking about you (we've all done it). The "I'm looking at the cash register here, not at you. See, my head is even angled downwards." As though you can't see the whites of the eyes that are so obviously fixed on you. It's hilarious.
But also incredibly disconcerting. As I left and got in my car, all I could think about was "What the hell were they saying?" And then I'm left to run through everything I said and everything I did. I replay it over and over in my head. I said this and this. He said this and this. And then it's like, "Wait, he kept mentioning his girlfriend. Did he think, somehow, that I was picking up on him just because I was asking questions?" And then I’m like, "Why the hell would he think that? I have a ring on and I didn’t flirt and it's his job to answer my questions." Then I wonder if I unintentionally sent signals.
And then I become a wreck. Then I wonder if I was one of those annoying customers who dream big but never do a damn thing. Then I remember how he said something like, "Yeah, tons of people come in here looking for triathlon bikes . . ." And there's that elliptical phrase, the unspoken, "but they never buy them and I doubt if they ever actually do a triathlon."
And then I think, "Well, I'll show you, Mr. Arsehole." And then I'm calling him names without actually knowing whether or not he was talking crap about me to his stupid co-worker and, after I left, the girlfriend too.
See, you can't ever do that. Unless you really hope a customer like me never comes into your stupid specialty shop again (I was the only customer in the store, by the way), you can't go behind the counter and have a word about the customer. And if you're not having a word about the customer, you really shouldn't do the eye thing, the sideways glance. Because it LOOKS like you're talking crap about someone. This goes for all social interactions.
By the way, the nice girlfriend: ripped as hell. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were veins popping out of her biceps. That sounds like an exaggeration but it completely isn't. She's probably nice as hell, too. I just couldn't believe my eyes, that's all.