Ask Dr. Bleedingheart

Bleeding Heart BlossomsDear Dr. Bleedingheart,

Help! There’s this really cute guy working at a local bookstore near my office and I’d love to ask him out. But every time I go into the store he’s busy with customers or helping other employees. What can I do to stand out from the regular customers and show him I’m interested?


Single in the Book Stacks

Dear Single,

Dr. Bleedingheart happens to know a shy, awkward bookstore clerk who receives regular visits from a gorgeous redhead with hair—and curves—like Jessica Rabbit.  She’s clearly into him, but it’s obvious to everyone at the store that he’s in way over his head and has no idea how to proceed.

The point is—don’t assume that the really cute guy feels at all up to the challenge of asking out a customer. Fortunately, you do have the upper hand.  As the customer, you get to show up and demand his attention, and he’s pretty much required to respond. Get in there and ask for some help with the products.  You might have to wait until there’s a lull at the store, but you’re a crafty person.  You can figure that part out.

And don’t forget the value of conversation pieces.  Customers are allowed—and expected—to bring all kinds of weird things into a store with them.  Walk in with a bunch of sunflowers from the farmer’s market down the street.  Sling your fancy digital SLR over your shoulder. Carry a Kindle or an iPad.  Bring in your dog, if it’s allowed, or your canary or your pet snail.  If he’s even remotely interested, he’ll say, “Wow, where’d you get those sunflowers?”  or, “Nice camera!”  or, “What’s your snail’s name?”  And that, I hope, will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  Good luck.

Amy StewartAmy Stewart is the author of From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, and the New York Times bestsellers Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers and Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. Find more from her at Garden Rant.

Submit your own horticultural question to Dr. Bleedingheart by emailing it to: katie [at] algonquin [dot] com

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