Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7

There’s something sexy about a man in uniform. I’m not a huge fan of cops, but I’ll take a soldier or a sailor any day.

Uniforms are hot, but I think it’s more about a man putting his life on the line for the community or the country that really turns me on. As a result, you can imagine my surprise and delight when a firefighter walked into the shoe store where I work last week.

“Hey, you look just like Emma Stone,” he said. “Actually, you’re much prettier than her.”

Now this was just getting embarrassing.

Of course, I didn’t know he was a firefighter right away. But he was very attractive.

He started asking me what there was to do around town. Given that I’m usually selling shoes or hunkered over my computer at home, I’m probably the wrong person to ask, but I gave him a few suggestions, all of which included live music and drinks.

He said he was in town from Austin, for a firefighter’s convention. His name was Robert.

“Firefighters go to conventions?” I asked.

He acted as if that was something I should already know and suggested I call him when I got off work.

He gave me his card. I told him it was nice to meet him.

For the remainder of my shift, I wondered if I should actually call or text Robert. After all, he was hot, he was a firefighter, he seemed nice, and he was only in town for a few days (read: no strings attached). A fling could be good for me, I thought.

The next day, I was back at work, organizing a jewelry rack, when I saw Robert had returned. He was chatting it up with my gorgeous, blonde manager.

“What’s there to do around here?” he asked her.

My jaw dropped, and she quickly told him she had a boyfriend.

Robert turned, saw me watching the entire exchange, and merely said, “Oh, hey, Holly.”

I gave a half-smile. Seriously?

There are days when I leave my apartment feeling on-point, like I’m looking pretty cute. But I know I can’t compare to someone with a model body or the makeup and hair of Kim Kardashian.

I do my own hair and makeup, I try to stay slim, and I wear jeans and graphic tees. The day Robert came in, I was wearing a shirt that said “Coffee Saves Lives,” a personal belief.

My friends always say, “But you’re the kind of girl someone actually wants to be with.”

And just when I feel okay, a guy like Robert shatters my small collection of confidence.

I get it. He was in town for a weekend and was looking for some fun. I can’t blame the guy. But at the very least, have some decency to hit on ladies that work in different stores. There’s a whole mall to explore, dude!

If I hadn’t seen him hitting on my coworker, I wouldn’t have thought anything about us having a fling. I probably would’ve taken a shot of vodka and decided Robert was a saint.

But that’s not what happened, and in some form, Robert did me a favor.

When he left the store, I told my manager what happened.

“Oh no, girl,” she said. “He was a loser.”

We both laughed and that was that.

But don’t worry, I haven’t given up on firefighters—or any man in uniform for that matter.

I’m just hoping I can meet my firefighter in the movie kind of way. My apartment complex has a restaurant attached, so the building’s smoke alarm goes off on the regular.

Maybe I’ll finally get rescued.

Read more about avoiding one-liners on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

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