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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Never Talk to Strangers

My sister in law is laughing this week because of me. This is why...

I have long known I am not a 'people' person. I am perfectly content to sit at home and hang out here. I love chatting it up with a friend, A FRIEND, not a group. I fear groups. I am not sure why, I just don't like big gatherings.

My husband is the total opposite. Completely.

I have been trying really hard to more talkative out and about. The last thing I want is for someone to think I am snobbish. I may like you very much, I just don't know, because I don't know how on earth to begin talking with you all. I am perfectly content to sit there and listen to all you have to say, maybe chime in a time or two, but just soak up the conversations. That's me.

My husband thinks I'm crazy.

So I decided to start small. One on one with complete strangers. My theory? Learn to talk to total strangers one on one and a big room full of strangers will be nothing more than meeting someone one on one a million times over.

Yesterday I was watching Jr. He has an ear infection and the medicine gives him nasty diapers and he had had two. They were bad. So, I decided to take the garbage out even though it wasn't full because of the stench. On my way down the drive way (it was trash day), I decided to fill the bag up with trash from the yard.

It was about this moment that the garbage man pulled up. He looks like a Santa who is attempting to loose weight. I have assumed he likes to laugh a “ho ho ho” type of laugh, it would fit with his white beard. I smiled brightly and said “hello! Just have one more bag for ya!” He looked at me oddly. “Nice day today,” I added, brightly. He tossed the bag in the back of the truck. I went to peek around it too. “I've never really seen a garbage truck up close.” Keep in mind, he hasn't said ONE WORD to me. I am shocked to see....a dead chicken. Which would have come from our house. No doubt the boys seen it and tossed it in the can. I am sure the shock registered on my face. The man ran, literally ran, to his truck and mumbled a “have a nice day.”
“Yah, you too!” I waved. I will be hiding from the garbage man every week now.

Which brings me to today. Driving the boys to school this morning, I seen one of those toy dogs, all white with a big poofy tail. Girly dogs, I call them. I had never noticed this dog before, and I usually pay attention to such things. On my way home from school, the dog had made good time jaunting out of town, so, tying to forget the mishap of yesterday, I turned around and went back for it. I had seen tags on it and figured I would just call the owners and wait to see if they couldn't just pick it up where I sat on the side of the road.

I am bent down, my just washed hair falling in my face and totally make up less, still trying to get the coffee to work on my tired self. “Here puppy puppy puppy,” I called. The dog ran up, sniffed in my direction and ran off to pee on a tree. I tried again. As I was calling the dog again, a blue blazer pulled up behind me. He opened the passenger door and the dog just jumped in all wag tail happy.

Great. Busted for attempting to steal a dog.

I got in my suburban, and seen the guy wanted to say something, braced myself for the worst and rolled down my window. I then spilled my guts, “I am so sorry I was just going to see if I could call the owner I seen it this morning taking my kids to school and now I seen it way down here and I didn't want it to get hit honest I was just going to call.”

He stared at me a moment. “Where did you first see him?”

“At the train tracks on the way into school, and here now. I just know I would want someone to call me if my dog were missing.”


Then he smiled nicely. “He gets off his chain. I don't have any idea how. I sure appreciate you stopping.”

I smiled. “No problem. Have a nice day!”

Well, maybe I can talk to strangers. I just wish it weren't all dramatic all the time.


Anonymous said...

That is too funny! Marissa has the same "gift" that you seem to have. ;)


ValAnn said...

That's funny... one of the things I've been working on for a few years. It will get easier! I try and make a point of it to my kids, too.. At their school dance last week, I made a point to address one of the kids (think the most dorky, etc...) by name, look him in the eye and Say, "Hi ___ , how are you today?" He looked shy and shocked at first, but then smiled and said good, and ordered his pizza and pop. I was telling my kids how, one little thing like that can change someone's entire day. We also challenge our kids to go out of their way and say hello/how are you, to a kid at school that they don't really know everyday, too. I think it's good practice for life! Did you ever notice how much better you feel when checking out at the store when you have a cashier that won't hardly look at you or say anything, no time for this crap attitude, compared to one that is still rushing you thru, but stops long enough to say hello?
Have you ever tried saying hello and using their name off their name tag? All little things... sorry, didn't mean to write a blog on yours... : )