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 EclecticScribe.com, 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!