It started, unofficially, during our honeymoon in Croatia. We eye-balled a tiny café called Fast Food Hello and tried to suss out the meaning of the name while waiting for our food at a nearby restaurant. When a stunning Croatian woman walked past the café, I pointed her out to my new bride.
“Now, there’s a fast food hello.”
An inter-couple catchphrase was born.
The game quickly caught on, and we took turns trying to figure out each other’s types. I gravitated toward women who were blonde and shapely like my wife, but I’d throw in a more exotic type just to keep things interesting. She, in turn, usually hand-picked fellas who shared my dark hair and strong features with an occasional curveball thrown in to keep me guessing.
When she pointed to a young surfer dude I knew she was in a precocious mood.
We even did same-sex fast food hellos. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It gave people-watching an added incentive, and when you’re wandering through a foreign country for 11 days straight all distractions are welcome. We kept the game going stateside, and now it’s a regular part of our repartee six-plus years into a very happy marriage.
No Offense Taken
She swears she isn’t threatened or uncomfortable about the game, and I believe her. She’s got a lousy poker face, almost as bad as mine, and I would detect something if our fast food findings caused her grief. Besides, I’m constantly telling her how beautiful she is, and she grew up with the one-two punch of a loving family unit and a space on her high school’s track team. Voila, instant self-confidence.
The game certainly helps me more than it does her. Sometimes, I have to point out the good-looking guys around us for her benefit.
I never miss a Miss Fast Food Hello.
It’s hardly a state secret that men look – constantly – at other women. We just can’t help it, as sorry of an excuse as that sounds. Blame our wiring – or those scandalously tight jeans that are suddenly all the rage. When a beautiful woman hits our peripheral vision, it takes a gargantuan effort to keep our gaze locked anywhere else but in her direction.
I never buy those scoundrels who blame said wiring for their bed-hopping, especially when you consider all the steps it takes between seeing an attractive woman and actually sharing an adulterous bed with her. But a peek is another matter, no matter what Jimmy Carter said in that famous Playboy magazine interview.
For me, noticing beautiful woman is the spice that seasons my monogamy. I may make love, and happily so, to the same woman from now on, but if I spot a pretty lady or two on my lunch break I’m content. My relationships weren’t always so fair and balanced. One neurotic past partner wouldn’t have lasted through a single round of Fast Food Hello. “Susan” blew her stack one day when she spotted a dog-eared copy of Details magazine on my coffee table. The magazine’s cover featured a saucy starlet, and she found me owning such lurid fare nigh near unforgivable.
As warning signs go, that one was flashing neon pink.
The Girl of My Dreams
My God-given knack for observing beautiful women helped me realize my wife was the proverbial “One.“ I was living in D.C. at the time, and my future wife was traveling to one of her favored destinations – she considered impoverished third world countries her home away from home. I had convened a few pals to hit the city’s best bar, one nestled next to the Potomac River that featured the most glamorous women around. I nursed my beer and looked at one lovely lady after another walk past. Each time my thoughts would start at the woman’s snug dress or revealing decolletage and segue to my girlfriend‘s gentle smile.
That had never happened before, or since. Popping the question was a formality after that.
I’m not sure how long our fast food games will last. It’s one thing to be a proud, 20-something woman who doesn’t mind her hubby noticing other women. But my wife is in her 30s now and has given birth to our two beautiful boys.
Will she always be up for a round of Fast Food Hello? Or will a day come when she grits her teeth and tells me it’s time to retire our game for good?
Maybe a second Croatian honeymoon will be needed to bring back that ogling feeling.