Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 4- Rick

I met another person today.  At church.  You might say that's cheating, especially since it's sort of a Sunday morning ritual in America to have the pastor obligate the churchgoers to be friendly for 30 seconds.  The band plays a short tune while half of the congregation awkwardly gazes at the ceiling with hands stuffed in their pockets; the other half jumps over rows of chairs and steps on toes in order to reach the specific necks they are determined to hug.

I typically fall somewhere in the middle- shaking the hand of any inviting individual within arm's reach as long as I don't have to move my feet, making eye contact for a split second, then dropping their sticky palm like a hot potato.  If names are exchanged, it's almost always in one ear and out the other.

Don't worry-  I won't dare count, as one of my 'friends of the week,' an extrovert who pops up in my face, so close I can smell their Nocorette gum, to yell their name in my ear.  But today, during the period of awkward-social-obligation-and-forced-fellowship, I looked into the eyes of a guy like me, a guy who didn't look that eager to talk to anyone he didn't already know.  I grabbed is hand (in manly fashion,) and held on tight.  I told him my name, and asked for his- and he smiled.  That's how I met Rick.

If nothing else, making it a point to document my encounters with people is improving my ability to remember names.  I think my brain used to just ignore or reject them for some reason.  It would only be a matter of seconds before I forgot who that person was.  I might know what they did for a living, their license plate number, their dog's favorite brand of jerky- but their name. . . duhhhhh . . . .

Doesn't anyone else have a story?  Unlike over at, I don't tend to have words for this site every day.  If any of you comment-less ghost readers can write craftily about your experience reaching out intentionally to meet a stranger, then let me know with a comment and I'll get in touch with you in regard to getting it posted here!


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