Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Do You Talk To Strangers?

I really want to know, because I talk to everyone. All the time. I can't help it. It's probably why I like blogging. It's, as I wrote someone else today, like virtual people watching.

Yesterday, for example, I struck up a conversation with Ninny - the same lady who has been handing me my husband's drycleaning for the past two years. She mentioned something about being married for 50 years. So I asked about how she liked it.

A simple question that some might just answer, "Oh, fine..." But I got instead the following points:

* Her husband has been "in heaven" for nine years.
* She liked being married okay. Good points, bad points. "Asian marriages aren't the most passionate. We're kind of luke warm. It's why it lasts." (Is this true? Any Asian readers out there? Because that kind of goes against what I hear from my guy friends about "hot Asian chicks". Perspective, I guess.)
* She sometimes desires male companionship, but she really digs being able to watch Jeopardy whenever she darn well feels like it
* She owned a drive thru market - several of them - when she first came to L.A. in the 70's. "And did you know gas was only 14cents?" She sold fuel at some of the more successful ones.
* Sex is okay, but stability is more important.
* It costs too much to drive, but with kids, sometimes it's important to say the heck with it and go some place. Time goes by fast.

People, I got all this in 5 minutes. It's amazing. And the more I spoke to her, the more I saw how really beautiful she was. I mean, not that she wasn't pretty before, but it's easy to overlook people's traits in the rush of checking off the to-do list.

If I know one thing, it's that humans like to share. And be connected. Perhaps it's why I blog, to answer an earliar question.

Do you chat with strangers? If not, why?

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God's Guitar Girl said...

I do chat with strangers. Sometimes you can just tell from one look across the room that you've both got something to say about what you've just seen. Othertimes you just feel an urging of the Spirit to interact with them. I love the times I have connected with these temporary acquaintances. I feel like I've learned a lot from them.

JCK said...

Oh, yes. I'm a regular chatO'rama. And a magnet for other chatters.

You are a magnet for people just waiting to pour out their stories. A born reporter!

Her answers were quite funny yet... very honest.

meno said...

I don't. i am afraid of intruding. Mu husband does though. I admire him this ease of conversation.

Ramblin' Red said...

Oh do I...and they me.
I love connection to others - makes me feel "plugged in," as in I seriously thrive off the energy.

Jen said...

Yup, please shut me up (especially in line at the store), but as my mama always says, Every friend starts off as a stranger.

amisare waswerebeen said...

My hubby likes to strike up conversations with strangers. I'm more comfortable joining in afterward. Recently, we chatted with an older couple that were out weeding their beautiful garden in front of an old, dilapidated house. We found out that they owned it, but lived across the street and had hopes to restore it someday. The house had been built in 1895 by a lawyer for his bride and was originally in a different city. They moved it to its current location. They even told us about more elements were added on to suit the bride's taste.

I was really enjoying the conversation, but my brother-in-law was starting to make not so subtle cues from the backseat to wrap it up. I think we do sometimes get too wrapped up in daily stuff to stop and chat and share. Imagine how we'll feel when we're all older, have so much to share, and not enough patient folks to chat with.

Maxine from Texas said...

I'm not a big talker, but have noticed that people usually want to make a connection and if you give them even the smallest opening they'll reach out. My mother-in-law on the other hand...she's never met a stranger. We were shopping for my wedding dress and she started a conversation with a young pregnant girl then ended up picking out wedding dresses for her. She got this girl's whole life story AND helped her not feel guilty that she was already pregnant(the girl mentioned that maybe she shouldn't even be getting a dress).
PS - about baking soda and vinegar...put 'em together and they fizz just like the scrubbing bubbles!

McShowoff said...

I am generally very communicative with strangers, especially to express displeasure at their behavior (honking horns, littering, bad driving, etc.) Gotta work on that. But I often strike up spontaneous friendly stranger convo. My girlfriend, Jill, is terrified of people and walks with her head down, so she usually continues walking if I engage.

Lately I've had my outgoing nature create some awkwardness. I offered to help carry two different women's overly burdensome bags, and they naturally thought I was trying to steal them. Another time, when a mother and her little boy were looking for the men's room for him, I offered to take him myself. Just trying to be helpful. I swear, I'm really not into the kids!

Jenster said...

Usually, but not always. Though I do always walk up to women who are obviously going through chemo and start chatting with them.

Anonymous said...

So help me, I talk to strangers all the time. Who knows how I'll ever get to tell Mimi that she mustn't talk to strange people!

There's something about me that means people tell me all sorts of things. My friend said it was because I have a happy and non-judgmental face. I hear about people's marriages, their debts, family secrets, mental health issues. Not in a scary way, though. Just that they need someone to open up to.

sari said...

I find the older I get, the more I talk to people (and care about what they say).

Susie Q said...

Oh yeah. I do this all the time and oh so I hear stories! I love it! MOST of the time.
I have been catching up with you and loving it all...now I must go and read your vacation post!! Looks like a great time!

Love ya'll,