After a little over a year at work, I have gained some fans. Regular customers who stop in, chat a bit, and whom I’ve gotten to know. There’s my High School Pep Squad, who pop in after school for a pre-homework snack. The 8th-grader I call Julie of the Wolves, because that was the book she was carrying when we first started chatting about reading and I don’t think I’ve ever asked her name (rude of me?). And of course, there’s David. But more on him some other time.
An older gentleman who comes in frequently – more frequently as of late, in fact – has often hung around almost to the point of my discomfort, telling me that I’m pretty and asking me for extra free samples.
One slightly bustling Sunday, he came in and did his usual “Hi, it’s me, do you remember me?” routine. Yes, I remember you. Maybe not the first or second time you visit, but by now, I remember you.
He asked if I was a Carzinsky.
“No, but my last name is similar-sounding. Maybe we are related,” I played into his game.
“I think we are!” he continued bombastically. “I think we’re related! You’re a dead ringer for a Carzinsky, you know that?”
“I think we could be cousins!”
“We might even be “kissing cousins“!”
I tossed my hair and laughed, “Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves now.”
He stopped dead in the middle of his diatribe.
Suddenly very serious, he squinted his eyes, and looked deep into mine.
“You’re clever,” he declared softly.
“Thank you,” I brushed the compliment aside.
“No,” he pressed on. “You’re really clever.”
Taken aback by his insistence, I handed him another free sample.
“Thanks, Meghan!” he brightened and turned to leave, shouting behind him as he left. “You’re really, really clever! Don’t ever change!”
“Clever” beats “Pretty” any day.