Nicole saw me having coffee and approached me but I did not recognize her at first. She is the manager at one of the women's boutiques in a mall I used to frequent and I asked her if she had time to sit before her shift started. She was more than happy to oblige.
I would occasionally go into her store and buy the odd top or skirt but since I have been downsizing I don't so much anymore. More often than not I am now thrift store frequenting although even that has somewhat fallen by the wayside since the pandemic.
Nicole is gregarious and friendly and almost 20 years my junior but we seemed to hit it off from the time I first stepped into her store and we kept greeting each other whenever our paths crossed. Today I joked I might ask her for a job once I semi-retire and she told me she just hired someone although she would have seriously considered me as a candidate had she not done so; if nothing else the idea was flattering. We ended up exchanging cell numbers and I told her to text me if she ever wanted to chat over coffee.
Having a little group of women to rely on for socializing seems to have done wonders for me although I am careful about expanding my circle of acquaintances as it is harder to backtrack when the connection you thought was there finally isn't.