Almost two weeks ago, I met a friendly, very attractive extrovert named Katie.
Two days after that encounter, my Mom was at the library and Katie made a point of telling her that it was really nice to meet me.
Which might seem like something... but when my Mom casually described seeing her interact with other people, it seemed like she's just an outgoing, friendly, chatty person with everyone. I've never actually seen her interact with anyone else so I have no other reference points. Mom actually finds it a little off-putting which says to me that she's finally lived up in the Northeast too long where gregariousness is unusual.
Today I had some books and CDs to return and a book to pick up from the library. Before I went in I was looking at the patches of skin between my thumbs and forefingers, red and a bit rough from hand-washing. Why didn't I use more lotion? I found myself wanting to look a bit better: a better hair day, less tired looking, skin a bit more clear. Normally, I don't care which shows but is kind of the point because I'm not trying to draw attention to myself. This is atypical territory for me.
Katie smiled and said hey when I walked in. Apparently I looked good enough. I did notice she didn't greet my by name although she recognized me.
"Hey," I replied, stopping by the book return to unload the stack I'd carried in. I didn't use her name either because I didn't have a good fix in my mind on her face and wanted to be sure it was her first. Yup, *very* good looking.
"I didn't think I'd ever see you again," she said, turning to grab my reserve book from the shelf behind her.
"I'm actually going to look for a couple things upstairs," I said to stop her from checking out the book. "I'll be back."
"Maybe I'll read it then. Looks like fun." She was holding a Wonder Woman graphic novel I'd requested.
I smiled and headed up the front stairs. The CDs I was looking for had been moved to the back of the building, so once I found them, I came down the back stairs and headed for the front.
I passed a woman tutoring a young man in French. He said something and then she corrected him, "Soixante-treize" and then in accented English, "Seventy-three." I recognized it before she translated it.
Passing through an archway to the main desk, I saw Katie leaning over flipping through a large book. I didn't think it was mine at first since it was a sizable hardcover, but then she closed the cover and I saw that it was.
"Any good?" I asked with a smile.
"I don't know. I've never read anything like this. I was just looking at the pictures." She pulled a slip out and started typing in my library card's number.
"Oh, I've got my card if that's easier," I said, pulling it out of my wallet.
"Quick on the draw," she said. I thought she meant me but she didn't seem to need my card, so I put it back. She must've meant herself.
"These too?" she asked.
She checked out the two CDs I'd gotten. "Oh, I love Glen Miller," she said. "I haven't listened to him in a long time."
"Good stuff," I said. She likes big band jazz, thumbs up.
Katie handed me my items and said, "It was really good to see you again, Claire."
"It was good to see you again too, Katie."
I was smiling when I walked outside but mostly suppressed it because I didn't want to talk about it with the people waiting in the car. I may have to pick up my own books more often, I thought to myself.
We went for a bit of a ride and I replayed the encounter in my head. Why didn't I say something when she said, "I didn't think I'd ever see you again"? I let my mind wander and daydreamed how things might proceed.
It wasn't long before I was bumping up against my own red flags, things which if I learned of them in another person I'd consider deal breakers but which I myself possess. Some could be fixed in theory but there are a couple things I can't fix which I don't want to talk about. Why even bother? I thought to myself, my mood somewhat dampened.
It comes down to what you feel worthy of.
She did seem happy to see me again.
I still don't have a read on what kind of interest she may have in me. When I read what I've written, it seems obvious, but it doesn't feel obvious in person. And as far as I know, she chats with everyone this way.
During a break from writing this I had the hilarious idea that she could be somewhere else on the interwebs writing from her point of view trying to suss out my potential interest. She has the advantage though: she knows my full name and I post by it. (Hey, Katie.) Oh my god, how mortifying would that be?
Even if her interest is platonic, it's still nice when someone who gives you a good vibe shows interest in you.
11 years ago on TTaT: Nickerblog's Mystery Hotel