Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Conversations With Strangers

When I was growing up, my grandpa used to embarrass me. I loved him dearly, but he would strike up conversations with strangers, and as a teenager I thought it was mortifying. I still felt that way when I was in college. He taught at BYU, so he could get me a nice discount on my books if I took him with me to the bookstore, but I always had an "Is this worth it?" moment in my head when he would go around asking the other students where they were from and what they're major was.

Now I think it's endearing. And maybe there's something to this conversation-with-strangers thing. I don't think I'll ever be as outgoing as my grandfather, but I had fun talking to a stranger today. I was in a waiting room, about to get my foot x-rayed (another story for another day), when an elderly woman struck up a conversation with me:

Little Old Lady, seeing my crutches and my foot in a boot: Oh, you poor dear! How did you do that?

Me: Running.

Little Old Lady: Were you training for a race?

Me: Yes, a half marathon.

Little Old Lady: My granddaughter runs lots of races. She doesn't do the 26 one, but she does the 13 one.

Me: That's what I was training for. A half marathon is 13 miles.

Little Old Lady: Then you must know my granddaughter! Kim Flenderson?

Me, trying not to smile too broadly: No, I don't think I've met her.

If I could be guaranteed fun conversations like this, I would totally start embarrassing my kids.


ME said...

HAHAHA! As Im sure you know I TALK TO EVERYONE. I remember feeling awesome that my mom had never met a stranger and I wanted to be just that friendly. Hopefully my kids will take after me and not you!!! I love old people the BEST they are so funny and full of stories. Just no conversations when your in a hurry-you'lle be late for sure. Way to branch out. Im proud of you and maybe if you start talking to random runners you will run into that Kim person-

Rachel said...

totally understand this post, it speaks to my heart.
I found out about your foot. I don't know what to tell you, but ugh, thanks for letting me stay with ya'll. It was too short.

mars said...

I remember those days, except instead of dreading the bookstore, it was the elevators! Grandpa always seemed to make elevator rides more interesting. Mom would always diffuse our embarrassment by reminding us that he's a social scientist and he learns about the world by asking random strangers about their lives.

Now that most of my job relies on my ability to connect with total strangers, I'm glad I seem to have inherited his ability to talk to people and ask them questions like it's no big deal. I even find myself striking up conversations while waiting in lines just like he does!

It's a family trait that I think we need to pass down, cuz.

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babsy (Barbara) said...

n I think talking to strangers in line at the grocery stores, or at a movie, or like this morning as I as walking my dog... Of course when you talk to someone that also has a dog.. Its not "like" your taking to a stranger,because they have the same thoughts as you do. All about your baby..lol.. As it was there were 3 of us this morning that stopped and talked. Of course it doesn't hurt to have a dog that you have named Jenny Craig. I get laughs all the time when someone asks what is your dogs name? And when I say. Jenny Craig.. They look at me and then at Jenny Craig, and start laughing from the belly... I love that... I get to make people laugh when maybe their having a bad day, or maybe they have heard some bad news.. Or just to brighten their day up a bit.

And look what I'm doing right now?? I'm talking to a stranger. But that is OK,, because we are doing the same thing. Blogging...

Have a wonderful Weekend

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Kelvin Anjos said...

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Vinnie Pandit said...

Very interesting but I think it is very short.