So I guess this is progress, I'm not really sure what to make of this. I was in the grocery store today, and was scanning side to side looking for anything interesting I needed, or sales, when this woman was walking straight towards me down the aisle. She smiled and I think she said hi to me, but I don't know because I had my headphones on. I tried to say hi, but it caught me off guard, and I think I just mouthed it without actually saying anything. OK, it caught me COMPLETELY off guard, and I had absolutely no idea what to do since I have no idea what the context was.
I kept on shopping, but she ended up coming back around to the back of the store, and passed by me as I was waiting at the seafood counter. I'm not sure what happened could be termed a panic attack, but I just found myself at a complete loss for words or ideas, no matter how hard I was trying. I noticed she had flowers in her basket, but I couldn't think of anything I could have said about them (how awkward would that be if they were for her boyfriend?)
When I got to the self serve checkout line, she was running her things through, but was facing forward, so she didn't see me. A checkout opposite her opened up, but now we were facing 180 degrees from each other. Frack. I only had a few things, and I'm pretty good at working these self serve checkouts, so I ended up shooting through pretty fast. As I was leaving, I saw that she was checking out at a regular counter (with a real cashier) as if she gave up on using the self serve. I tried to linger a bit at the front, looking at some ads in the store (maybe I could strike up a conversation about something on the board), but after a couple minutes I decided to leave since I still had no idea what I was going to say anyway...
This situation is where a sign (or t-shirt) that says "Hi, I have Asperger's Syndrome and don't know how to talk with complete strangers very well, and have no idea what is going through your mind at the moment" would come in handy, not that I'm even in a position to seriously meet anyone right now anyway (like I could really say, "Hey I just bought some shrimp, want to come over to my mom's place and have dinner?")