It’s amazing how many interactions I’ve had in this lifetime. I’ve come across a lot of people. Some people are significant, others have said significant things and many have proven themselves to be quite insignificant. Some I stay in contact with regularly. Others have turned into friends on social media. Some I speak to less and less as time goes on and I’ve become all too familiar with their absence. There are those who I talk to or see once in a blue moon and it’s as if we never skipped a beat. There are also those I talk to everyday because a day without them would just feel wrong. Above all, my favorite interactions are those moments with strangers that are so profound you never forget it, or them, and it changes you in some way, big or small, but you’re never the same.
I was working in college at an Italian joint. “How are you guys doing?” I asked. This elderly lady looked up at me in total disgust. She spoke up very Mary Poppins-Judi Dench-lovechild-like and said “I (HUGE annunciation on I) am a lady.” Because of this interaction, I haven’t referred to a large group of men and women as guys since 2003. One of my first lessons on feminism. So thank you to the jaded old lady in the pant suit.
I apologized to a bartender recently and he looked right at me and said, “Don’t ever apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” With that in mind, I’ve been extremely conscientious whenever I or anyone else says sorry. It’s usually women and we say it a lot. We have been engineered to come off as polite and kind and nice and submissive so much so that we apologize for trivial things without even thinking twice about it. Now I have to disagree with the idea of not ever apologizing. You’re going to have to apologize one of these days. Possibly grovel.
For instance, back in 8th grade, I had gotten home from a huge swim meet and was exhausted. I came home and fell asleep watching TV. I woke up, looked at the clock, and went into total panic. I was supposed to babysit. It was an hour after I was supposed to be there. I was sick to my stomach. I ran across the street but no one was home. I called and left a message. This was pre cell phone era. I remember finally talking to the mom. She told me I had ruined their plans and she had come over and rang the door bell and was so disappointed with me and couldn’t believe I had done this to them. Mind you, I was twelve. I apologized and apologized. I even put an apology card in their mailbox offering three free nights of babysitting. I never heard from them again. This is when I learned that some mistakes can’t be forgiven, even when they are truly innocent, and sometimes apologies aren’t accepted. So thank you to One Republic and my unforgiving neighbors for that gem of a lesson.
Ever had a friend who is so attractive, they make you feel like a 3.5? It’s nothing they did or sought out, but just how it happened and simple human laws of attraction. We have all had those friends in our lives…unless you happen to be the one who is genetically endowed. If that’s you, then I suppose a congratulations is in order but not really because you didn’t do anything. Your parents created a masterpiece so I suppose the truth of the matter is you owe THEM a thank you for doing it…literally. Back to the point, I had a friend like this and we were on vacation. This comic book superhero looking guy comes right up to me and is all about it. Now, when you are used to feeling like Casper next to someone, it’s initially very alarming and speculative when someone notices you. Tack on the fact that he was sculpted and bronze, insane handsome and eight thousand times out of my league, I just stared at him very confused. Clearly I had been out in the sun too long and he was a mirage. He wasn’t. So then I figured he was talking to me to get to my friend. It’s not pessimism if it’s realistic, folks. He wasn’t. I mean, what was this guy’s problem? Alas, we had a two day summer vacation romance that left me baffled and flattered. So to Cyrus from Canada with the giant brown eyes, wherever you are, thank you for making me feel beautiful. I’ve never forgotten it.
It’s fascinating to me how you can impact someone’s life in seconds. Strangers can be so much more than just that. I always imagine some higher power designs these moments to whisper secrets of some kind. I do believe that people come and go in our lives for a reason. There are all sorts of ways to find deeper meanings, be inspired and see the bigger picture. There are clues, temptations, doors and messages all around us every single day. Keep your eyes and ears open. Moments of magic that will stick are out there just waiting for you and you alone. If you set off every day believing it to be an adventure, it will be. Stop believing your life is ordinary and believe me when I tell you it is far beyond extraordinary. You’ll see.