Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I am my mother's daughter

As a child and teenager, I used to roll my eyes and be mortified by the fact that my mom would talk to strangers. She would randomly sit down next to someone and suddenly they would know my entire life story. Sometimes she would speak to people without prompting and they clearly wouldn't want to talk to her. But more often, people would approach her and chat away for hours at end. I was always embarrassed.

Recently, I've decided that I've got more of my mom in me than I previously thought. I am approached by random and talk to random people. I'm sure many of you remember my experiences with meeting people on a train, in a grocery store parking lot, and in the sauna at a gym. My recent random meetings have now expanded to include at a free hotel happy hour and at an outdoor ice skating rink. Here's the stories:

A week or so ago, I was up in Chicago for some interviews (still waiting on the results, I'm freaking out a bit) and was staying at a pretty nice boutique hotel in the River North area of the city. My hotel had a free cocktail party from 5:30 to 7:00. After a long day of interviewing (caught a flight at 6 am, finished interviewing at 4:30), a drink sounded pretty good. I had dinner plans to meet up with some friends around 7, so I figured, what the hell, I'll just go to this happy hour and enjoy a nice glass of wine by myself. When I got up there, I noticed a group of gentlemen (two older guys and a guy about my age) sitting at a couple tables and chatting. I sat down next to them and shortly was drawn into the conversation. The guy my age was moving to Chicago and was up there looking at apartments. I gave him some advice about neighborhoods and we all chatted amicably for the next hour or so.

Shortly after 7, one of my friends called to say she was on her way to pick me up. I knew the boy had no plans for the evening so I invited him along. After thinking about it for a minute, he said sure. Before my friend got there we talked some more in the lobby and he got my number. I think the dinner conversation probably scared him off (it was overly girly and gossipy), but it certainly made for a fun evening. I doubt I'll hear from him, but that totally made my interview trip more exciting.

Then last night, I decided to go ice skating at Steinberg rink (its a large outdoor rink in Forest Park). The ice was almost perfect and there was practically nobody out there (cold and windy night). The older guy who was out there chatted with me for a little bit, but then we drifted off to other things. After a while I noticed that I was being pretty much tailed by someone else. I had my ipod on, and he asked me a question, so I had to pull the ear buds out from under the earmuffs to hear him. I then proceeded to spend the next hour skating with him and ended up driving him home (he doesn't have a car and took public transport to the rink and it was cold and windy out).

I think he was trying to ask me out to dinner when he commented on the fact that he always ends up eating out even though he has leftover at home (and I of course was oblivious and commented how I ate out way too much last weekend and needed to eat at home). Then he asked me if I would be skating on Saturday afternoon again. I wouldn't commit. Part of me wondered if he was just being polite or if he liked me. And, if he liked me, why ask the vague, "will you be there again?" question - why not just ask for my number? Anyway, we'll see if I see that one again.

So, yeah, I talk to strangers - hell, I invite them to dinner and drive them home.

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

At least you come by it honestly!! :)