As Monica has no time for social media other than her own, and she doesn’t even know that I’ve started this blog, I reckon I’m pretty safe writing about things you ordinarily wouldn’t want your girlfriend to know about.

Like Joyce.

It’s just a fact of life that I get hit on a lot at work. If you work at a busy Gap, you’re coming in contact with people all day long. People are people, and, be honest, retail employees are always fair game. I’ve hit on plenty of cute girls working behind the counter…and so have y’all. I get it a lot – from both chicks and dudes – and I look at it as no harm, no foul. And, hey, isn’t it a compliment? I don’t even mind it when it’s a dude – as long as he keeps his distance. I seriously don’t like being pawed by guys. If that makes me a redneck homophobe, y’all probably thought I was that already lol.

I met Joyce for the first time a week or so after that terrible Valentine’s Day, when I got called to the register to approve a return she was making. The receipt she had was a mile long, so she’d obviously been on a spending spree. (And, hey: she kept the receipt!) She was being seriously nice to Olga, who was helping her, and she was seriously nice to me when I got to the register to initial the credit. Joyce was completely obvious when she checked me out from head to toe – I kinda liked how bad she was at doing it. And she was just as obvious about the fact that she liked what she saw.

Let me get it out of the way here: Joyce isn’t blonde, she isn’t curvy (at least not in the right way), and she’s not young. Keaton (if he saw her) would never have picked her out at a strip club as someone who should give me a lap dance. So, fine, y’all can laugh it up and get it out of your system now, she’s over 40, I’m 25 – but you’ve already seen how things are going with my girlfriend who’s my age.

Nothing happened the first time Joyce came in. But she was back a couple days later, and asked for me by name “since he was so helpful the last time.” So over I went. She said she needed help picking out jeans. I could hardly blame her. I’ve been working at the Gap for over a year, and I barely understand the difference between real straight, classic straight, slim straight and super high rise straight. (I can tell when a pair of tight jeans looks like on a hot girl, but I really don’t understand why we have so many different kinds of women’s jeans. I think you have to be a chick to really tell the difference. I always want to tell women not to overthink their jeans if they’re trying to impress their boyfriends. We can’t tell the difference. All we know is “hot” and “not hot”. I’ve never heard a dude even go so far as to say “her jeans are an 8”.)

But, fine, I was there with a customer, and giving the input I was trained to give. What it really came down to was that Joyce wanted to try leggings for the first time in her life, and she wasn’t sure she could get away with wearing them. She was completely honest about it, too. And with a straight guy she’d made it too clear that she liked.

She wasn’t pathetic about any of this, because she wasn’t trying to impress me or cover up the fact that she didn’t know what she was doing. She was just being, well, she was just being Joyce.

She must have tried on every kind of leggings in the store – and that’s a shitload of leggings. I did have to call Tatiana over to help her, since, remember, all I could see was “hot” and “not hot” (and most of what Joyce tried on was very “not hot”). Finally she chose half a dozen pair to take home (was that so she’d be sure to see me when I came to initial her next return?). I rang her up at the register, and, just as I gave her the bag, she came out with:

“Um…I know I’m doing this the completely wrong way…but…could I maybe give you my number in case you…well, in case you…want to maybe call me or something…sometime…I mean, you know, if it’s okay?”

Then she looked like she wanted to crawl into a hole.

I have experience with girls trying to get my phone number. I’d never seen it done as badly as Joyce did it.

Okay…maybe I felt a little sorry for her…but I also liked how honest she was. People go on about honesty and they go on about how nobody is honest in this town. Joyce looked nothing like a girl from back home, but she kind of reminded me of some of the girls back home. The ones who don’t play games. Or who play games that are so simple you can recognize them as games. I’m still way out of my class here when it comes to girls playing games. (Monica!)

So I gave her my number. Maybe I got a little smooth on purpose, too. She was about to type my number into her phone when I took the phone and typed it in myself.

And that’s how it all started with Joyce.

3 thoughts on “Joyce

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