Stranger Talk

“Oh, now look… See? I knew this would happen. A guy is walking.” Wife said.

“Really?” Husband asked. “Where at?” He looks around, stumbling into training wheels in front of him.

“Beep Beep Daddy!” Daughter yelled. She pedals faster down the sidewalk.

“Sorry sweetie! Where’s the guy?”

“Straight ahead, he’s carrying bags of something… groceries, maybe? That looks like the Food Hippo logo. Why is everyone out when we are? We should start taking our walks later.”

“Oh, never seen him before…”

“We’re gonna have to walk past him. Do you think he’ll say anything when we do? Should we say something? Who goes first?”

“He won’t say anything.”

“Ugh! I don’t know what to say if he says something.”

The guy comes closer. Inches away.

“My! That’s a pretty cool bike you got there!” Guy says to Daughter with a smile.

“Thank you!” she giggles.

Beaming, the husband and wife wrap up their brief interaction with gratitude and echoed warm goodbyes.

“So that’s how it’s done.” Husband said.

“Hm?” Wife asked.

“That’s how you talk to people. Just compliment something nice.”

They go on trailing behind their daughter, excited for the next person to pass by.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. A guide to reintroduction to flesh interactions in a post-pandemic society. Nice.

    1. Kirsten says:

      Haha 🙂 “flesh interactions”, perfectly said.

  2. perfect timing for educating the family of 3 by example from the stranger….. Very interesting read!

    1. Kirsten says:

      Thank you! Taking a walk can be relaxing and educational. 🙂

  3. Mike U. says:

    Jeez, these parents sound like me when I’m out in public, wondering what to do if someone looks at me! 😀 (Sad but true, but in my case I have deafness to worry about and all the frustration it entails when it comes to trying to communicate with anyone.) I like how the little girl was so gregarious and delighted by the man’s compliment of her bike. Seriously, this is an adorable tale. 🙂

    1. Kirsten says:

      Thank you Mike! 🙂 I love writing about these person-to-person moments.

  4. I really think their daughter was a good excuse for them to not stand and talk to him. Some people just want to talk, others greet and go.
    You can definitely see, if the person is willing to talk more than the hi/hello.
    I am sure their daughter was not there and I guy had tried to talk then, the conversation was more awkward.
    .
    I tell you a funny incident. In real life, I’m an introvert and I don’t like to talk to people at gym.
    Still, I tried to be humble by greeting people. One day, I greeted a man “hello”.
    He stared at me as if I asked for his kidney. There was an awkward silence of 20 secs, then I moved on.
    Although, that person is garrulous, but I don’t know what he thought of me. Haha, Ever since I never greeted anyone new.

    1. Kirsten says:

      Omg I can’t stand those awkward moments. I know how you feel. I’m an introvert too but there’s this extrovert that really wants to come out. I think I’m holding her hostage.

      If I do make an effort and say something, if I’m shot down it’s like “okay, I’m done with this world, F you, F you.” but, I don’t like feeling that way and just keep telling myself, kindness can go far. If I’m being kind and respectful, I can’t be doing anything wrong, you know?

      I had a similar interaction with a worker in wal-mart. She was stocking things and we made eye contact for like two seconds and neither of us said anything. I read her face and it looked like she didn’t want to be bothered, but then she sneezed, and I was like…. ohh I can’t just walk away now!

      I told her bless you, and she smiled so big at me. It was nice.

      1. Oh well!
        I’ve stopped saying hi now 😂
        No people say me and I reply back.
        I wonder what kind of introvert I am. Sometimes, I want to talk to people. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m grim, sometimes I’m honey.

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