Yup. This is about a girl, a woman, and I am so confused.

The backstory is brief. I started a new job working at a small community grocery store. It’s a grocery store, a community hub of sorts actually, and I’m a checker and she is a regular. I don’t really know anything about her and yet I feel like I know her well because she is open and, well maybe that is what is happening. She is open. Perhaps that is what attracts me to her.

Open, you ask? Who’s open, especially these days? It seems like every American, at least all of those over the age of 12, has some reason to be suspicious, avoidant, disgruntled, or aggressive toward every other American. And yes, she carries baggage, I know she does. After all her purchase is always the same, three 24-ounce cans of Steel Reserve 211 beer.

I am not much of a drinker. I would much rather eat naughty, sugary-sweet candies, cakes, and cookies and consider beer the most rancid-tasting alcohol consumed by humans. I do understand however that many people use beer to wind down after a long day or need help falling asleep and beer works for them. Still, it concerns me, which means I care about her.

But what facts do I really know about her?

1. She is one of eleven children.
2. She lives at home.
2. She helps with her younger siblings.
3. She is unemployed.
4. She is Jewish.
5. Her mother is native.
6. She is at least 15 years younger than I am.

I’m confused because it’s not just me. She walks through the doors and we both seem to light up with the excitement of seeing one another. She always lingers and we talk at the register until we are forced to acknowledge there are customers that need my help. We’ve both told the other how much we enjoy our chats so it is a fact that we are both benefiting from this newfound friendship. Our conversations feel deeper than surface level though they are always left incomplete and those sudden breaks leave a lingering desire to continue visiting.

She is youthful, refreshing, and smart. She smiles when she speaks. She can be bubbly and I find her thoroughly delightful. I feel young and happy when we’re together. If she were a guy, I’d probably have butterflies and a fast-beating heart. I mean, I am definitely crushing platonically on her. I do feel disappointed if she does not come in and I’ve begun to think about her when I am not at work. (Obviously, I am writing this while not at work.)

What in the world is going on?

Last night was my Friday. And she had come in about an hour earlier than usual and we were busier so our visit was much too short. So I offered her my telephone number. I punched it into her phone and called myself. (By the way, if she were a guy, I wouldn’t have the courage to “take the lead” like that.) When I got home I saw that she texted me.

So now what? Am I a mother figure? Is this a budding friendship? Is she “interested” in me romantically? I have no idea whatsoever, but I do look forward to getting to know her as a real friend.

On the 16th I am going motoring in search of Bigfoot with my MINI Cooper group. I think I’ll invite her. Six hours of caravaning the Pacific Northwest backroads with 30 other MINIs and a lunch break will be plenty of time for conversation and friendship building.

So, any thoughts?

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