Stranger things

My dad taught me, perhaps accidentally and almost entirely by example, that I can find a connection to anyone if I’m bold enough to strike up a conversation.

We used to laugh about how he could know a cashier’s name, age and where he grew up before he finished ringing him up in the express lane.

Russ laughs at me for the same thing now. Part of it is a natural curiosity that I’ve always had. I love to know someone’s story. Part of it is an aversion to awkward silence. Most of it is a need to find the common humanity in the people who share my space.

When we travel anywhere I look for connections – to my home, hobbies, anything.

On our honeymoon we talked for half an hour to a family from Hendersonville, just 45 minutes up the road from where we live in Greenville. I believe in that particular instance, I noticed a Clemson hat and had to comment.

Last year while hiking a trail we’d never seen we ran into a friend of a friend I remembered from a birthday party I went to in 2009.

A few months ago, while out on a story, I met a guy who’s lived in Greenville for years and somehow within a couple of minutes found out that his dad went to high school with my mom in Wilmington, NC.

One recent morning, while waiting for a bagel at the coffee shop up the street, a man stopped me to ask about a ring I wear every day. It’s a tree of life, but from where he was sitting he thought it was designed to represent the gates of Charleston. This one was easy. A mention of Charleston always winds its way into a conversation about how much I love “the holy city” and enjoyed my time living there. He left while I continued to wait for my bagel, but I recognized how he changed my mood. Not that I was sad or grumpy, but I was standing there surrounded by the cafe’s dreamy white tile, marble and glass decor, zoning out.

His comment raised me from my feelings of indifferent and made me happy. I was suddenly more aware of my surroundings.

I smiled all the way to the office.

Strangers talking to each other is an endangered phenomenon and one of my favorite things that happen on this Earth.

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2 thoughts on “Stranger things

  1. Geez!  The apple doesn’t fall far… Cindy Sanders, Executive Director Pickens County Habitat for Humanity  www.pickenshabitat.org  864-878-6374

    From: elizabeth wren To: pchfh@bellsouth.net Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:22 PM Subject: [New post] Stranger things #yiv5963089435 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5963089435 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5963089435 a.yiv5963089435primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5963089435 a.yiv5963089435primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5963089435 a.yiv5963089435primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5963089435 a.yiv5963089435primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5963089435 WordPress.com | elizabethws posted: “My dad taught me, perhaps accidentally and almost entirely by example, that I can find a connection to anyone if I’m bold enough to strike up a conversation.We used to laugh about how he could know a cashier’s name, age and where he grew up before he fi” | |

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