I wonder if I can go back and get a foil vase?

As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely get hit on. (Need I remind you of the bachelorette party that shattered my confidence? Or the awkward conversation I had with the guy at the liquor store? Right.) So, when someone does flirt with me, I generally panic, have no idea how to react, and usually end up either mumbling something undecipherable or talking so fast that I accidentally spit on the person’s face.

Last night, I went out to get a couple of drinks with my friend, Lola. Nothing crazy, just a couple of girls getting a couple of vodka & tonics. After an hour or two, we left the bar and made an impulsive stop at Qdoba for burritos. (A decision my bloated body is regretting as we speak!)

There we were, at Qdoba, stuffing our faces with salt-packed deliciousness in a corner booth, two cute girls wearing two cute dresses in a restaurant full of drunken college males. I had just reached the juicy part of the story I was telling, pouring out my heart to Lola, when I became aware of a figure standing at our table. I turned to look and saw a man, an employee of the restaurant, smiling there. I smiled back.

“Hi,” I said, after a second, waiting for him to speak.

“Hi,” he responded. He pointed toward the kitchen. “My friend made this for you.”

He extended his other arm toward me. In his hand was a rose. Made of foil. Like, the kind of foil they wrap burritos in.

I took the foil rose from his hand. “Thanks,” I said, awkwardness setting in.

One of the guys at the table next to us cheered. I looked around the restaurant, and everyone was looking at me. I looked toward the kitchen, where four faces were staring back at me. The man remained standing at the table. Panic. The attention was too much to handle. How am I supposed to react to this?

I leaned in and whispered to Lola, “Let’s get the hell out of here!” I grabbed my bag and scrambled out onto the sidewalk. Lola followed me, exiting slightly less dramatically.

“Did someone just make me a rose out of foil?” I asked her once we were outside.

“Sure did!” she said, smiling. I laughed.

We started down the sidewalk toward our cars, rounded a corner, and nearly ran into a group of guys coming out of a bar.

“Is that a foil rose?!” one of them exclaimed. “Holy hell! Where the eff did you get that?”

“Qdoba,” I answered.

“I want one!” the guy said.

“Whoa,” said another guy in the group. “Is that a rose? Made of foil?”

“Yes,” Lola said.

“I need that,” he responded, reaching for the rose. “Can I have it? I’ll pay you for it!”

What? Panicked, I pulled the twisted foil closer. “No, I’m keeping it! He made it for me!”

Lola and I turned to walk away, despite the questions and pleading that echoed after us. We had just started laughing about the rose again, when we heard, “Whoa, is that a foil rose?” Two other men stopped us on the sidewalk and wanted to take a peek. “Where did you get it? How did they make it? A foil rose!”

I answered their questions, but all of the attention was making me more awkward by the second. Finally, Lola and I continued on our way, and we made it to our cars. I threw the rose on the passenger’s seat and drove home.

This morning, still in a sleepy daze, I got into my car to head to work, and nearly crushed the rose with my purse. “Oh!” I exclaimed. I had forgotten about it. I laughed to myself. “A foil rose.”

I got to work and was just opening my email when my coworker, Guillaume, approached me.

“How was your night?” he asked.

“Good,” I said. I told him about the bar. “Then the funniest thing happened!” I said, telling him the story about the foil flower.

“Bet that made you feel really special,” Guillaume said to me.

“Weirdly, yeah. I mean I guess it was a compliment!” I answered.

“A compliment?! You know they probably give out dozens of those flowers a night, right?” he responded. “They probably just make them all night and keep them in a bin behind the counter and give them to every girl they see!”

“Gee, thanks,” I said.

“Well, it’s the truth. A foil rose? There is no way that’s the first rose that guy has ever made. Was it made from one sheet of foil?”

“I don’t know,” I answered. “I think so.”

“Yeah, there is just no way. Don’t feel special. They give those to all the girls. I guarantee it.”

“Well, thanks for keeping my ego in check,” I said.

“So, what’d you do with it?” he continued.

“It’s in my car,” I answered.

“Oh,” he said, turning to walk away. Then he stopped and turned back to me. “What are you doing right now?”

“Checking my email,” I said.

“Will you go out to your car and get it?” he asked. “I want to see it. I mean, it’s a foil rose!”

Oh brother.

Thankfully, it accompanies the name tag at my desk very well!
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