I wear my wedding ring on my middle finger. It's not some anti-establishment hippie thing, it just doesn't fit on my ring finger anymore. But I wonder if that confuses strangers.
I mention this because for some reason I've had, by my standards, a ton of contact initiated by random guys lately. First there was that guy at Walgreen's trying to chat me up in different languages, then a guy in the BJ's cheese aisle, and then the next day, a guy at the gym. And they all seemed nice enough, so I was nice enough back. Because I think to myself, what if this was Jeffrey, and it was before we were together, and he was just trying to meet someone? How would I hope someone would treat him? I mean, I don't think it's a crime to try to talk to someone. It's just not going to work out in this instance.
It is particularly awkward for me because it just happens so infrequently that I don't know quite how to navigate it. Also there's my admittedly weird conversational style. I don't ever know the appropriate time to say, hey, I'm married. And not like that's even the entire reason, but it's sufficient. But you know, I don't want to be presumptuous.
Like this guy in the cheese aisle. I was wearing my press badge, which I should always take off but never remember to. So there I was checking out the grana padano (at a really reasonable price!) and the guy asks me what media I work for. So I tell him. And he asks what I do, and I tell him. And then a few more seconds with the cheese, and then he says, "You look very smart." Of course, I don't even know any other response to this, so I say, "What does that mean?" He repeats. So do I.
And then he says that I'm pretty too. And maybe this is the time I should say that I'm married, but in my head that doesn't follow. Like, the two are not related logically, so I have difficulty putting them together. I'm just hoping that he drops it. So I just thank him and go back to the cheeses. At this point it looks like he's left, but when I turn the corner, there he is again. Not in a necessarily creepy way; just in a this-is-where-I'm-shopping-now way. So there's a little more halting small talk and then he says, "Can we talk again sometime?" And then I say I'm married, and he apologizes.
It was all pleasant enough (a little awkward when I run into him again in frozen foods but we both survive), or so I thought, until I had a menacing dream that night about him following me.
So any help? What should I have done? And seriously, do I seem that approachable?