I talk to strangers!
Door to door sales persons,? Moms at the park? The guy returning from a beer tasting tour to Mexico? He was cool, drove a snowplow that cleans off runways at the airport (naughty shiver). Doesn't matter, if I've never met you and you have the misfortune of sitting next to me on an airplane or try selling me magazines, beware.
I love long, chatty conversations with strangers, I'll find out where they have lived, if they are married, how many children, their favorite color, long and short term goals.
I Offer advice, encouragement, meals, lemonade, starts from my flower beds, restroom visits. I even once gave some recipes to a former gang member who was brought straight from South Central LA to sell magazines in my middle class neighborhood. What? He said his life long goal, was to own a bakery.
Strangely, I rarely if ever buy what they're selling. I think a few have even forgotten why they were there after a hot meal and a long chat.
At work I feel compelled to say a cheery hello to everyone who comes into the office. It bothers me to see a printer serviceman working on the printer as office conversations go on around him. It seems so lonely. So I chat! Anyone want to buy some acreage in Idaho, I know a printer serviceman who is selling.
I'm not really picky about the type of stranger either. I love finding out that someone just got out of prison, what they were locked up for and their plans for the rest of their life or until their next parole hearing.
Old people are some of my favorites, take my across the street neighbor Oral for example, she and I are strangers every time we meet. Thanks to dementia or maybe it's Alzheimer's, every conversation is unforgettable,well for me anyway.
This morning, however, was the Holy Grail of stranger conversations. Not that I haven't spoken with this type of stranger before, it's just that this time my stranger conversation skills have developed to the point that I could ask what I really wanted to know and get answers. Yes my stranger skills are developing I fully expect to end up getting kicked out of several old folks homes for my skills with strangers.
This morning a Jehovah's Witness knocked on my door. I've always wanted to ask what the purpose of their visits are, so I asked. I've always wanted to know if they are looking for converts, so I asked. I've always wanted to know how they are received in haUt (secret code for the state I live in) so I asked. I've always wanted to know why the focus on negativity and calamity, so I asked.
Loved this conversation, loved chatting, finding out where he was from, how long he been a missionary. I managed to control my compulsion to invite him and the five or six of his companions that ended up milling about across the street waiting for us to finish chatting, in for some breakfast and more stranger talk.
So, am I just an amazing living example of, "When saw I thee a stranger...." or do I need therapy?
Don't answer that!