One of the benefits of working with the public is being able to hone my flirting skills. It’s gotten to the point where I do it without thinking. Sometimes it happens in front of their significant other. (I usually catch on in time, and they tend to take it well.) It can get awkward when two unrelated ‘flirtees’ arrive at the same time, but that doesn’t happen often.
My ‘honeys’ tend to be age-appropriate, but the age range is upward of sixty-plus. Lower end? I think I just hit it.
She is nineteen, looks about fourteen. She goes to night school at the college around the corner from the store. Her hair is the color of a brand new penny, and her eyebrows are translucent, which inspires more naughty thought. She’s curvy, cute and precocious, and she knows it.
After our ninety-degree heatwave a couple weeks ago, she came in to visit. She was a bright pink instead of pasty freckled white. “I got burned everywhere. See?” She pulled her bra strap aside to show the contrast. “I have aloe vera in my bag. I’ve managed to reach every spot except the middle of my back…”
I looked at her, held out my hand, looked at it. I looked back at her.
“Umm, I don’t think so,” she said. “You’re old, and your hair is kinda creepy.”
Wh-wh-what? “Excuse me, missy? *I* am creepy?”
She blushed, turning even pinker. “I didn’t mean it like that! It’s just that most guys your age-”
“Older than the dinosaurs?…”
“No! It’s just that I don’t think my boyfriend would approve.”
I’ve seen his picture. I have tee shirts older than him.
“Okay, you just continue to radiate, while I stand over here getting creepier by the minute…”
She tends to stay for about half an hour. During which time we joke, she disrupts the thought patterns and libidos of the male customers, and I juggle with whom and how much flirting I do. Then it’s time for school, which leads to another round of age-inappropriate jokes.
“Buy me a soda before school?”
“Who am I, Daddy Warbucks?” I don’t expect anyone under forty to get my pop culture references any more.
“Ever see Little Orphan Annie? He’s the bald rich guy in the suit that’s always taking care of her.”
“Since you’re neither rich, bald or in a suit, how can you be Daddy Warbucks?”
I pondered. “I guess you’re right. With all this hair and lecherous intent, I’m more of a creepy Uncle Warbucks, huh? Although it would be hot if you started calling me Daddy…”
“I don’t think my boyfriend OR MY DADDY would like that. I’m getting that soda now!” She went to the pop machine and filled a glass with ice water.
“Creepy Uncle Warbucks. I like that. Unlike some, at least I don’t have to explain to you what sodomy is.”
“HUH?” Her eyes went wide.
I told her about Agent Starling. “When she first started coming here, she didn’t know what sodomy was. She was standing behind the counter, and I told her, ‘It might be easier if I just showed you…’ You should have seen her run!”
“So… what *is* sodomy?”
“Well, it’d probably be easier if I just showed you…”
“Time for school, creepy Uncle Warbucks!” She wiggled fingers my way, blew a kiss and scurried off into the night.
Remember kids, you can learn a lot from your elders.