What is it about our Thursday trips to the grocery store????
We had just arrived at our second grocery store and were in the produce section. I was picking out onions and Brielle was headed back to the cart after getting us a head of iceberg lettuce. She was all smiles, HUGE smiles. She pointed to a lady near the broccoli who had her back to us. Uh oh, I thought. Here we go again....
When I asked Brielle who that was, she signed, "Friend. She said hi to me."
We are very used to people knowing Brielle from school or other activities and greeting her in public. Half the time, Brielle doesn't know who they are. Sure enough, Brielle couldn't tell me who this person was and that wasn't the surprise. A small surprise was that this lady didn't come over to introduce herself to me or talk more with Brielle. But, I dismissed that little breech in proper manners. It wasn't a big deal standing there in the produce section.
As it happens so often when you're in the grocery store, this lady seemed to be walking through at the same pace and on the same path as we were. We often passed her or we followed her or she followed us. Not odd. Happens all of the time.
But also very often on this day at the grocery store, Brielle broke into huge smiles, pointed at the lady and signed to me that the lady was being nice to her, saying "hi" to her or waving at her. Not completely uncommon, I suppose. Once in a while an adult stranger might go out of their way to be nice to Brielle.
The odd thing was that this lady never made eye contact with me. Every time I looked in her direction, she seemed to be very "busy" looking at whatever was on the shelves in front of her at the time. It was as if every time MY back was turned, she took the opportunity to engage Brielle.
This happened throughout the store during our 30 minute excursion there. Finally, when I was unloading our cart on to the conveyor belt, I caught this woman trying to interact with Brielle when she thought I wasn't looking. I waved and smiled as she passed us and entered the checkout lane two rows down. I hoped that might encourage her to at least acknowledge ME in some way. Instead, she seemed to try to hide her smile and went on her way.
Did she even know Brielle? Had she seen Brielle and I signing over tomatoes and knowing a little sign language decided to greet Brielle? Does she have a special needs child at home or in school, but just didn't know how to approach me? Why the secrecy? I didn't think she was some child snatcher or something. Her odd behavior intrigued me more than creeped me out or put me on the defense.
I wish I had been bold enough to just ask this woman who she was and why she was being so secretive about communicating with my child. However, my confidence was weak and I was in a hurry to get home to beat the rain showers. We pushed our cart to out of the store to our car and didn't see her again.
So, this makes two Thursdays in a row of strange interactions with strangers at the grocery store. Maybe we need to break our routine and try going to the grocery store a different day of the week.