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Never talk to strangers? Sez you!

2004-07-26 - 10:13 a.m.

Today’s entry is brought to you courtesy of inspiration from Zoot.

I talk to strangers all the time. I would totally be the disembodied voice from the toilet stall butting in on your conversation. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Follow that link above to this morning’s post.)

In university I had this pair of earmuffs with puppy heads on them, complete with floppy ears and lolling tongues. The ears would fly out when I was caught in a breeze or bombing along on my bike. Sometimes I forgot I was wearing them and it was only the fixed gaze at the side of my head that reminded me. Those earmuffs were a great gauge of whether or not people around me had a sense of humour. If I was met with shocked looks of disbelief (as in my GAWD! I can’t believe you’d wear such things!), scowls, or averted eyes, you were not my kind of person. If, on the other hand, you smiled, giggled, gave a thumbs-up, or in another way expressed approval, well, you and I would get along just fine.

A friend once told me that her friend at my new campus had seen me around. Puzzled, since I’d never met her friend, I asked how she’d recognized me. Turned out she’d mentioned this chyck with these wild earmuffs… Heh.

The other day, I took a page from the kids that wave at strangers from cars and beamed all the way to work. I figure I got about 75% of the people I made eye contact with to smile back. Not bad for a drizzle-y day in a conservative Canadian city.

I suspect (as I mentioned in Zoot’s comments section) that a lot of bloggers and journallers are the talk-to-stranger types. The same impulse that has us sharing on the net has us sharing in real life. And sure, sometimes the people we talk to don’t respond, but when you throw out a “man, these stalls are gross, I don’t want to sit down – hasn’t this bar heard of cleaning?” and you get back a “seriously, just what you want when you’re buzzed – a workout for your quads” floating back to you, that’s synergy.

I’ve made more than one friend in life by striking up a conversation out of the blue and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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