As a happily married man I have much to be thankful for in life.  I have a beautiful wife and an absolutely wonderful little girl who makes friends and relatives swoon with the bat of an eye.  Last I checked my employer’s checks continued to clear at my bank.  As I said, things are well with the world.  With all of that said however I would argue that one must still enjoy some of life’s simpler pleasures.  While sitting at a car wash this morning an older gentleman sat down next to me while his car was being buffed and we got to talking.  Somehow we got onto the topic of life in the city and he noted that he used to be a resident of Chicago proper but has since moved out to the burbs.  Completely unprompted (I promise) he turns to me and says, “you know what I miss the most about living in the city?  Looking at the girls.”  As best I could tell this guy was like me, plus about twenty or thirty years, but happily married and just enjoying life on a Sunday morning.  You know what though?  He’s right.  There’s nothing wrong with appreciating the scenery a bit to add a little sugar to your coffee every day.  I would never advocate anything beyond enjoying a passing glance, and before the female readers find themselves up in arms I would ask that you submit your ticket stubs from Magic Mike or rescind any smile that you’ve formed after a construction worker has given an appreciative whistle. 

So without getting the rabble roused any further or soliciting any venomous email darts (and ideally staying on this side of the creep-ster line), I submit to you a ranking from worst to first of every day opportunities to find these little drops of sunshine while keeping a full counter between yourself and any degree of tomfoolery.  I am using the gainfully employed young ladies of our consumer culture as the cut-off because their place of business allows for these random day to day interactions, and besides, there’s nothing attractive about the unemployed.  For the record I have consciously omitted those who list waitress or hostess on their résumé as their income is directly tied to their ability to spread said sunshine.  Filthy trollops.  

So without further ado…

10) Your average Walmart employee – This is not a shocker I know.  When you draw this clientele, a handful of them eventually start thinking that the corporate discount might be worth filling out an application for.

9) The women who work at pet shops – It takes a special breed to work at a pet store.  It’s a job that sounds awesome to most children under ten but then as we all get older we realize that cleaning the gerbil cage every other afternoon for minimum wage isn’t as fulfilling as one might imagine.  The people who fill these roles, particularly after they have graduated from high school, tend to be the kind of people who can find beauty in something that looks like this.  If they can find love for something like that then there probably isn’t a lot of love left over for themselves and the washout is in their appearance.  I’m sorry but I defy you to find an attractive woman behind the counter of your local Petco or Pet Smart.

8) Masters of the conveyor belt at grocery stores – Nothing personal about this clan but they tend to eschew to an older demographic.  I’m sure they were lovely in their respective days but the women at grocery stores are more often than not mothers of four who know the value of the weekly grocery bill.  While often very nice the prime of their looks was left in aisle nine.

7) Fast food restaurant register jockeys – They are generally the grocery store clerks in training meaning that they are paid to be very nice and cordial but there is also a tendency to sample the merchandise if you know what I mean.  I also question any cute girl who thought a good use of her summer would be to sling burgers and hash browns (before 10am).

6) Target tail – I’m pretty sure that written into their Human Resources directory at Target (and to a lesser extent Best Buy) is a rule that they must have one attractive girl manning a register at all times.  There’s no other explanation for it.  Maybe I am just a sucker for girls in polo shirts.

5) The boutique beauties & cupcake cuties – You most likely have a local bakery or small shop in your neighborhood.  I’d venture to guess that it’s a family run organization and there is a daughter or niece that mans the counter for the establishment.  It’s generally a flip of a coin as to whether they are there because they have a passion for the family business and want to chip in or they are there serving time as indentured servants.  I find it interesting how their outlook on their present situation has a direct correlation to their outward appearance.

4) Librarians and their glasses – Some people have a soft spot for them.  I can’t blame them…

3) Barista babes – Coffee pourers and mocha frappé-ers of today are the librarians of tomorrow.

2) Department store divas – We now enter the world of women who consciously are selecting careers precisely due to the potential for interactions with gentlemen consumers.  Now there certainly exists the faction there solely for selfish reasons (the discount) but more often than not each of these young ladies is hoping her Lancelot will sweep her away with a cleverly worded note on his credit card receipt.

1) Yes you can authenticate my membership – I will all but guarantee you that every guy you know has a favorite girl at the front desk of his respective gym or tanning salon.  These ladies, much like some of the examples above, are holding this position because, A) they enjoy the free memberships/tans, or B) know that a regular stream of fit fellas will be lining up to hand them their member(ship card).  More often than not, due to both options above, these girls are fit and have a generally positive demeanor. 

So that’s my ranking.  Again, I would like to be very clear that in no way do I condone taking any of these relationships beyond a friendly smile but life is measured in the quality of one’s outlook and who’s to say there is a negative in a harmless smile collected during commerce?  I will now be off to perform some research at my local florist as I work to ease The Wife’s concerns now that my playbook has been revealed.  Perhaps this was all a clever ruse or a bit of reverse psychology to get out of running errands from this day forth?  The world will never know…