Waiting to see the girl in black

Published 8:27 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

By Steve Stricker

Monday, New Years Day, 2024, after 8:30 am Mass, Feast of Mary, Holy Mother of God, to Chaney ‘s, Kroger – it was 9:15 am.  

At Kroger, as expected, revelers from Eve before were sleeping in and those here this early had long ago cut late partying from their routine, didn’t care to be around others with COVID and Flu circulating, or were perhaps single.

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It was pleasant to be the only one in the “Cheese” section, then focused on a pecan pie was surprised to suddenly have another shopper right there!  Looking up, I was startled to see a very attractive middle-aged “girl” looking at me, huge warm smile, smiling back, said “Good morning,” and she still smiling, slowly moved on.

She was dressed all in black, pants, long-sleeved top, short brown hair and eyes, quite petite, nothing blingy – “Whew!”  Was she flirting with me or just being friendly?  Since the breakup of my engagement to Scottish lass in 2011, vowing never again to be unequally yoked, had not been out with or on a date with any female since…she was one of a very few females since then who grabbed my attention immediately.

Out of my comfort zone, this being Mary’s feast day, devoted to her, quickly gave this “situation” to her – if anything was to “happen” with this mystery girl in black it had to come from her, naturally, easily, because that’s the only way, in faith, it could possibly be “right” for me – and went about shopping.

Moving at the same pace, we ended up in the same aisle several times somewhat close, but mostly opposite ends, never passing each other, saw her once in the frozen food section by herself and a voice said to go and just say “Hi” but that would not have been accidental, certain the voice was mine not Mary, headed to checkout.

My friend, Kevin checked me out, and glancing to the lane beside me, she was also checking out.  Finishing first, she very slowly left the store.  As I walked to my car, she coincidentally was parked a few spaces from me, whatever, groceries in car, home to that cat, Jag who regularly tells me, “Steve, we need a mom or mum.”  Duh.

Tuesday morning, January 2nd, realizing I forgot cat food, thought – could she possibly be wishing she had done more like me to encourage a relationship and return to Kroger at that same time to see if I would be there? Oh gosh, had to know.

To Kroger wearing the same red Ole Miss fleece so she would recognize me, around the same 9:00 am time – wanting to see that girl in black. IF that happened, I would know because we both would have busted out laughing!

Know that all along I’m laughing at myself and how stupid and impractical all this was but also kind of totally fun!  At Kroger, really hoping to see her again all cute dressed in black, was so idiotic possible – but no.  There is no fool like an old fool…?  Is that a pimple on my forehead?? HA!

First major risk of 2024 and for many years past.  But I was rather proud of myself for even doing this, listening to God, Mary, and would have never forgiven myself if I hadn’t tried. And – I needed food for Jag….

Oh Mary, did I totally blow it after you finally sent “Her” to me?!  I hate “Free Will!” Ain’t nothin ever, ever, easy…Steve said laughing – Bloody Hell!!


Steve is an Oxford resident and received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Counseling) from Ole Miss.