Lately I've been thinking a lot of how people interact with each other in public. People in this case, meaning strangers and public meaning stores, public transportation, etc. Where I reside, in the DC metro area people are always so concerned with getting to their next destination, what they're going to make for dinner that night, beating traffic, etc, that they never take the time to notice people around them much less have a conversation with them.
Where I've noticed this as of late is at the checkout in stores. I am always thrilled when I have an animated checker who makes a funny comment about something I'm buying, or even just simply asking how my day is going. Me, being me, always happily strikes up a conversation and will chat with them literally about anything.
This happened the other day when I was in Target. It was the day after Black Friday and I asked the checker how crazy it was there on Black Friday. He started telling me about his experience (some negative, some positive) and as he talked to me the lady behind me started to tap her foot and clear her throat. I ignored it and continued to talk with the very pleasant checker. I LOVE when people like him are so animated and love their job. I see it all the time at other stores where employees drag there feet and barely say Hello to you.
Now I happen to be an extreme example of someone who interacts with strangers on a daily basis. It is completely normal for me to strike up a conversation with a random stranger for sometimes really no reason. This past weekend I was at Grant's high school reunion. Only about 75 people showed up (probably due to the Holidays) but I had a blast. Grant knew many of the people there, but not all of them. I though only knew two people, one who I had met while playing Frisbee with Grant and one that I knew online mostly through facebook. The other people, no clue. But heck I had to entertian myself while Grant caught up with his people. So I randomly went up to people and starting talking to them (I had wanted to go up to the group of cheerleaders crowding around a table and just start pretending that I went to school with them throwing out "Oh you don't remember me? I sat behind you in Math class" type of comments. Grant didn't want me to embarras him too much though so I refrained).
One girl had this really cool tattoo of a Voodoo doll so of course I went up and started talking to her about it. Turns out she was a girlfriend of a kid Grant went to school with so she didn't know anyone either. We started talking a lot and soon I even pulled her out onto the dance floor and had her dancing with us. That's another thing, all the "Popular" people were just standing around with their drinks where as the group of us (Grant included) were tearing it up on the dance floor, kicking off our shoes and dancing to Gagnam Style (yes at this point I had, had a couple of drinks). We had a great time and it didn't matter if we didn't know each other at all. At the end of the night I got big hugs and even a kiss on the cheek from one guy (since he was gay, Grant was cool with it). It just goes to show that beign uptight and thinking that you can't talk to strangers won't get you anywhere in life.
I'd rather be that awkward girl that goes up to random people, holds up check out lines in stores, and comments on people's unique attributes than someone who rushes through life not paying attention to those amazing people around her.
Image from wikihow.com