Talking with strangers

I. Am. Not. Good. With. Small. Talk.

I’ve said this before, I’m sure. I do the make the effort though. I will  talk with anyone, especially if there is a possibility of learning something useful.

There is also something about how I present to the world that attracts a more than generous share of persons with alternative experiences of the world I live in.

Tonight, west of Chicago in a service plaza, I encountered such people. They (an older, elderly couple) had pulled up nearby while Melinda and I were eating sandwiches constructed out of the back the car. They seemed very interested in us. Actually, it was our trailer. The old guy said he used to sell RVs and has never seen a camper like ours. Seemed to think it was something the Germans would build. (For the record, our SylvanSport Go is built in North Carolina.)  So, anyhow he wanted to know about the trailer.
After I gave him the rundown, he asked if I was salesman. Nope, just a traveler. Asked where we were going. I gave him few places. He had opinions. Not as strong as his opinions about Illinois and Chicago and why they were moving too much saner Florida on the Redneck Riviera but opinions. (Yes, I laughed openly at this.) Apparently every place he has lived has treated him badly.

In five or six minutes I learned more of his life history than he was ever going to learn of mine. I also learned I probably wasn’t going to learn anything really useful in this conversation. This caused me to immediately get bored with it all land just listen politely hoping that some of clown twenty years from now listens politely while I ramble on about the injustices of my life.

I’m sure I could do this better. But it seems like I would have to ask more questions. That would seem to indicate interest where I have none.

I guess I have to learn to be more interested in strangers.

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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