Spring is nigh. Sure, it snowed here today, and is expected to again on Saturday. But it is also supposed to jump into the 70s next week. Mornings and evenings are getting a little brighter each day as our daylight stretches out. Spring training baseball has begun. My anticipation of warmer days is like a little kid’s on December 10 counting down the days until Christmas.
Also, love is in the air.
This morning I made my weekly grocery shopping trip, delayed a bit because L was home sick Monday and Tuesday and I was just lazy yesterday. As I was checking out today, the woman bagging my groceries shared some big news.
“I get off at 2:00 today instead of 4:30 because my boyfriend is moving in with me.”
I assumed she was talking to her coworker running the register, so at first I didn’t say anything. Then I noticed she was looking directly at me so apparently her announcement was indeed intended for my ears.
I tried to recover.
“Oh…wow…that’s exciting news!”
She beamed. “I know!”
Now the grocery store I frequent is like most around here: during the daytime shift they are heavily staffed with folks who often face obstacles finding jobs. There are people who have Downs syndrome, others who are clearly somewhere on the Asperger’s or Autism continuums. Some folks just ran into a bad patch somewhere in their lives and are just trying to get back on track.
Which I love. Ninety percent of the time they are not just enthusiastic about their work, but they are also eager to talk to you. I don’t get a lot of adult interaction during my days, so I appreciate these little conversations.
But, I have to admit, this was kind of a new grocery store chat for me. That was complicated by this woman’s appearance. She didn’t seem to have any chromosomal or developmental issues. Which, of course, means nothing. There are plenty of autistic people who will come across as your average Joe or Jane most of the time. And it’s not like “normal” people don’t overshare, too.
Anyway, our exchange continued as she told me she had dated this guy for five years, they broke up, but now they were back together and getting ready to cohabitate.
“That’s a big step,” I said.
“It is!” she said with a mix of excitement and nervousness. “But he’s a good guy. The other guys that try to date me are all so weird!”
Hmmm, you don’t say, I thought but did not speak.
I then told her that since I have three daughters, I bet I’ll think all guys are weird when the girls are old enough to date. She liked that.
When she was done bagging up my purchases and wished me a good day, I said the same and told her “Good luck!”
“Thanks!” Clearly her day was made. And she had five more hours to share with people!
Then I ran out to my truck, threw the groceries in the back, and texted my wife relating my encounter. I’m pretty sure the bagger lady would have wanted it that way.