Quinoa (Story by Risa Peris)

“I’m not crazy. I’m totally not crazy.” I laughed nervously. Where the hell was he?

The bartender pushed the beer towards me. “Yeah, you don’t seem like it at all.”

“See, not crazy.” I kept looking around the bar. Where, where are you?

“So who is he?” The bartender had a smile. A knowing one. I wanted to smack him.

“What are you talking about. There’s no him.” I laughed nervously again.

“You’re wearing Prada and Louboutins to a Hooters bar on a Friday night. And you’re looking around like you’re carrying cocaine and expecting the cops to walk in at any time and arrest you.”

I sighed. “Okay, I totally made a connection with this guy at Whole Foods. We both reached for the five dollar tomato. It was so cute. I think we clicked. And then we talked. I’m a lawyer and he needs one because he’s starting a cupcake business. Anyhow, we shared info and he Instagrammed a photo of him and his friends heading to Hooters. Ah, I think I’m in love. He’s got such cute dimples.”

“He’s starting a cupcake business?”

“He comes from a family of bakers.”

“Sounds…a little gay. But I shouldn’t judge. I’m a bartender at Hooters.”

I downed my beer and checked my phone. Still no updates.

“So let me get this straight. You met a guy at Whole Foods in the overpriced produce section and fell in love. And he wants to open a cupcake business.”

I sneered. “He isn’t gay. Why would he be at Hooters?”

“In the closet maybe or his friends are straight.”

I dismissed the waiter and checked my phone. There was a new Instagram photo. He was outside. I scrambled. I left money for the beer and went outside. There he was. So cute. But he had his arm around another man. I checked the Instagram feed. Celebrating Devin’s engagement at Hooters. I guess some people like tits. Not me. Wink.

I went back inside deflated. The bartender appeared. “A beer and a tequila shot,” I said.

“No luck with the cupcake boy?”

“Shut up.”


The bartender brought my drinks. “You okay? You know you’re just my type. Crazy, desperate, cute…too bad there’s not a five dollar tomato for us to reach for.”

I thought about that. “Wanna meet me at Whole Foods tomorrow?”

The bartender smiled. He was cute in a bland way. Kind of like the band member in high school who wanted to take me to prom and that I refused holding out for the football player I had a crush on.

The bartender smiled. “I’ll buy you some quinoa.”

I downed the tequila. Why was dating so difficult?

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