Being a proud gay man, I made sure all my work associates were aware that I was NOT straight. The Men’s Shoe Department, which was one of the ugly step-children departments in the store, was in desperate need of at least one additional cash register. We have one cash register for up to five or six of us at one time selling shoes. Although we put a lot of effort into giving our customers a good experience, they often become unhappy waiting for their turn to pay for merchandise. Patience has never been one of my virtues so I generally don’t stand around waiting for my turn at our single register. Instead, I will usually ask my customers to follow me to the neighboring department which has similar staffing but they have five registers – one or more of which are usually free. I joke around with the folks in that department while I’m using their equipment to maintain good will. On this day, there were three women and one very tall, very thin man working. All of the associates were in their 20s while I’m in my 60’s. My kidding around with the female employees usually involves discussing imaginary relationships I have with the women (such as father, grandfather, boyfriend, mentor, etc., etc.) and telling the customers about details of our relationship (also completely made up.) Today, while I was using their cash register I was telling my customer how the attractive young woman next to me used to be my girlfriend. I claimed that I broke up with the woman to encourage her to find a younger boyfriend, Usually the response I would get was rolling eyes and knowing glances made toward my customer (which they understood). However, on this occasion, the young lady surprised me by responding: “I thought it was because I had the wrong equipment (referring to her girly parts).” I simply responded: “Well, there was that too.” The comment was so unexpected that it unnerved me and, to quickly change the subject I asked if anyone had a Tic-Tac, Life Saver or any other kind of snack. When I got a positive response I pointed to the very tall, very thin young man and asked if they could give him any food they had because he was clearly very hungry. My young friend told the customers that he really wasn’t hungry and did the whole eye roll thing. I finished up with my customer and returned to Men’s Shoes starting to work on the stories I was going to use the next time I needed their resources.