So, on Monday, when I was in getting my hair cut, the following happened:
Big, burly, thirty-something guy starts staring at me.
I smile back.
He says, “Hey, did you use to teach?”
Me” “So, did you go to NHS?”
Him: “Yeah, but you were teaching summer school or home-study or something.”
Me: “I only did that for one summer!”
Him: “That’s all I took it– I’m Anderson Cambry!”
Me: “Anderson! That’s awesome! How you doing man?”
And what followed was a half an hour of pleasant conversation whereby I caught up with this young man. He’s in security, I know where he works, I’m going to interview the crap out of him for upcoming projects.
Squish sat next to me and smiled the whole time, and when an older gentleman said, “Imagine that– that guy knows your mommy!” She gave a serene little grin.
“Yeah. That happens to her all the time.”
And it does.
Tonight, Mate and I were in Chili’s for important dinner eating purposes, and there was a wait. I tapped Mate and said, “Look! Isn’t that our post office guy?”
Now Mate gives me a ration of crap because I go into the post office and all the people know me. I’ve had enough giveaways and know enough people who are out of state to send packages to, that they tell me what the best way to send my stuff is, and they’re polite, and we talk. I know who has kids, and how to make the sort of shy German fellow smile (he has a delightful sense of humor, and is always kind, but he’s very reserved). The last time I was in there with Mate, this man– in his early sixties–chatted at me happily.
They’re my people, right?
Anyway, he saw me, and came over and we talked for the whole half-hour before we got our table.
Mate just looked at me and shook his head. “Once a week?” he asked.
It does seem to happen to me a lot.
Part of it is that I’m gregarious, and I like talking to people, knowing their stories, being me.
Part of it is that I’m noticeable. I’m a big girl, my hair is usually bright red with or without the skunk stripe, and I often wear knitwear.
And part of it is that I’m approachable. Eighteen years of teaching gave me the “I sweartagod I don’t bite!” smile.
And part of it is that I just sort of know people. I mean, in Disneyland a teacher from my old school came to chat.
And it’s cool.
It makes me feel like I’m home wherever I go.
And I always (don’t judge me!) harbor a secret hope (it’s so douche-matic!) that someday, someone will recognize me from my promo-pic, and will want me to sign a book or a placemat or a napkin or something.
Sh… don’t tell. It’ll jinx it.
I like to think it’ll happen.
But in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the big surprise of the people who wander into my life and talk to me. It really is a delightful part of any day!