His shopping trolley was blocking the end of the aisle in the supermarket and he gallantly moved aside and waved me through. I continued on my way, he on his.
Then, of course, we met again on the next aisle. We were now stuck in that situation where you are travelling one way round the shop and they are travelling the other, which means your paths cross every time you enter the next aisle. This can cause a degree of social discomfort when it occurs with someone you know. After the first delighted greeting and bit of chit-chat you both go on your way and then see each other again by the loo rolls, then again by the frozen goods and yet again by the wines and spirits. Each time you meet you have to give a little greeting, a smile, a nod - something. Eventually you both start to pretend you haven't seen each other as it is all so tiring.
In this instance I did not know the gentleman in question, but now we had made social contact of a sort we were in that position of having to acknowledge the other. We smiled and pushed on.
I spent some time in the world cuisine section choosing what to have for dinner. After due consideration I put a jar of black bean sauce in the trolley and headed for the next aisle. I instantly encountered Mr Tweed-Jacket coming the other way.
"Ah," he said with pleasure. "Here's that lovely-looking woman again."
What a nice man, I thought to myself.
"Yes," I replied. "We can't keep on meeting like this."
At which point he performed the most professional letch I have ever seen. He said nothing. The facial expression, the sweeping gaze from toe-to-top, the glint in the eye, the twitch of the waxed moustache, the pursing of the lips and the gutteral explosion of air were eloquent enough. It was an entirely visual display yet I still felt like I had had my arse pinched and my bosoms honk-honked.
I was nonplussed. I could summon no response other than a flustered smile and a "must get on." I took my trolley far, far away to the other end of the shop and hid out in the fresh fruit until I was sure he had gone.