I have found recently that I talk a lot to strangers. Mainly to other parents at the swings (acceptable) , but also to those whom I am simply walking past in the street or the park. It is this second set which has me worried I am turning into some crazy old lady. Partly it's my feeling like I live in the London equivalent of the Desperate Housewives town of Fairview, where everyone knows everyone. Here are some recent examples:
- while walking with Noah past the local tennis courts, some amateur tennis player hit a pretty decent winner, so I decided to shout out to him: "You should be at Wimbledon!" (the poor guy's reply: "Next year!")
- spying a mother chasing after her son who was on his scooter as they went past me: "They keep us on our toes!" with a merry grin on my face
- after strolling past two identical-looking black dogs who were chasing a tennis ball, I found myself faced with another identical-looking black dog running toward us, also chasing a tennis ball. I said to the owner, "There are two more up ahead who look just like him!" and she explained that they might indeed be siblings as there were a few dogs of the same litter in the area.
After I do it, I just cringe - these people don't really want my commentary, do they?!
I was proud of myself today as a lady eating an ice cream walked past me, and I started to say, "That looks good!" before I realized that was just TOO much, and kind of ate the words.
I guess it's my attempt to create connections and make me feel that the world can in fact be a
friendly place, but even I recognize that there may be better ways to do this.
There is nothing exactly wrong with turning into one's mother, but I have to laugh since I am often criticizing Mom for striking up conversations with perfect strangers wherever she goes, and yet, here I am effectively doing the same thing! Perhaps it's in the Blakey DNA, as last Tuesday while we all recovered from jet lag, Blake and Noah and I went for an unelaborate picnic (ham sandwiches with butter, raisins, and a big bag of pretzels). A lady with a young boy and a P&T buggy walked by on the path which was about 25 feet away from where we were sitting, and Blake starts waving and saying, "Hi!" They come over, the mother assuming - I think - that Blake recognizes her son from somewhere, but I just shrugged my shoulders as I was pretty sure I'd never seen them before. Anyway, long story short, we're meeting up with them on Thursday, so I guess sometimes it does pay to be friendly to strangers. But maybe a simple "Hello" or "Hi" is enough...