I’m standing in front of a case of cookies at a new little neighborhood bakery. Why are these cookies calling my name? I wonder. I bend forward, without a second thought, and whisper to them. Yes, I whisper to the cookies. “Oh you little shortbread cookies, I think you need to have someone take you outta here, and it might as well be me!”
“Can I help you?” a man behind the bakery counter asks. (Where did he come from? Did he hear me whispering to his cookies?) Am I really forty five years old and whispering to cookies?
I swallow hard, and my face turns redder than the strawberry on top of the cake adjacent to my cookies. “Um, no, yes, well, I think I’ll take a dozen of those little shortbread cookies. The chocolate chip ones.” The bakery man gives me a side-eye and fills my order. “Ready to ring up?” he asks, walking towards the other end of the counter towards the register. But I stay stuck at the case. I don’t know why. I suddenly sense the bakery man is getting uncomfortable and doesn’t know what to say. I don’t either. But I’m paralyzed by the decision I just made. I wonder if I should have gotten the shortbread ones with blueberries. I’m a self-concious mess. I’ve got a cookie problem. I start thinking of how I get teased at home, in a playful way, of having food issues. I still stand there. I’m lost in thought, but craving the cookies.
The bakery man makes his way back over and breaks this awkward silence. “Can I get you something else? Want to try a sample?” This man now speaks my language. Samples. We are now connected. He and I. Baker and cookie consumer.
“I’ll try one of the little blueberry ones. Are they as good as the chocolate chip?”
“I’m a fan of the blueberry, let me give you one to try. And they like being whispered to as well.”
I’m now officially dying.
“Thank you. I best ring up now and get going.”
I walk outside and stuff the little blueberry shortbread cookie in my mouth. It’s good, but I can’t wait to try the chocolate chip ones. I get in my car, drive two blocks away and pull over. I eat ten. Ten. I think I now know why I get teased about having food issues. It’s like when you realize your fly is down in public. You just want to hide.
It was my first date with that bakery and it went bad, real bad.
I’m the cookie whisperer.