Saturday, March 3, 2012

Talk to Strangers

I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and I would highly recommend it to all of you. Even if you think you are already as happy as happy can be, I bet you will love her take on things. I have had her commandments and experiences running through my head all week, and one thing in particular stood out to me.

Talk to strangers.

This put me to thinking about my friend, Cheri. I was telling my husband, a few weeks ago, all of the many reasons I love Cheri, and one of the qualities I pointed out was this: Cheri never meets a stranger. No joke, all of my memories of her involve fast food places and her talking to the person behind the counter as though they'd known each other since play school. Then there are the hilarious stories she tells about her interactions with employees at Game Stop and elderly people in Walmart. I often feel isolated and lonely, so I used to wish for such interactions. Reading this book, it hit me: I have to make those things happen. Cheri has those kinds of experiences because she does the one thing I so rarely do...

She talks to strangers.

Today, waiting for Haydn to try on pants at Azkaban (aka Walmart), I said to the attendant, "They don't even give you a chair?" I told her how I had done the fitting rooms at Target for years and we always had a chair, and then we chatted about retail. Turns out, she has worked at that Walmart, part-time, for 25 years. My mom has worked at Walmart back home for 18 years (I think that is right). I told her so and we shared the joys and miseries of Azkaban/Walmart.

Then, this afternoon, I walked onto the back deck to check on the boys and the friends that were playing in our yard, and I ended up having a lovely conversation with a neighbor and talking about cats and bracelets with his adorable granddaughter.

As tempting as it is to chalk my weekend happiness up to the agents that requested my manuscript on Friday, I can't do so honestly. They certainly have made me happy in an anticipatory sense, but stepping out of my comfort zone today helped me to feel less isolated and more a part of this community.

Little things can make a big difference.

1 comment:

  1. I love thatbook and reread it every so often. And did you say agentS plural?!?!! :D

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