Pages

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fortunate Friends

The other evening I took myself to dinner at a nearby Thai restaurant. I brought a good book, looking forward to eating alone. However, when I got there, I pulled up next to another car with two older women in it. It was a struggle to get out of the car, since one had her door partially open while she was fussing over a small white puppy. I got past them and into the restaurant. Soon, they were sitting in the booth across the aisle.

They kept getting up and peering out to check on the dog (it was a cool night, so the puppy would be fine) and I made a couple of pleasant comments about the puppy (I have the same kind of dog), and soon they invited me to join them. I was surprised, and slightly disappointed because I'd had my heart set on finishing that book. However, I scooted on into their booth and found out both of them were visiting from other states: Two daughters reunited in caring for an aging mom with Aldzheimers. Both women were in their 70s; their mom was 94.

I recommended certain menu choices which they enjoyed and we had a lovely conversation. I gave them my card, and told them to feel free to call me if they needed anything, and I haven't heard from them since (although I still may).

I told my parents this story the next day, and they both rolled their eyes and laughed. I've always made friends wherever I went. It used to drive them nuts when I was young, because they were always worried that I'd make friends with the wrong person and end up on a milk carton.

They used to caution me a great deal about it, and that's probably why I'm still around today. They warned me constantly about keeping somewhat distant from strangers, and how to deal with a dangerous situation. Still, there was no stopping me, and there still isn't (although I am always cautious to a point).

I meet new friends all the time. Many times, the stranger is the friend I haven't met yet. But my closest friends are the ones that love as I love, are kind and generous with their wisdom, and care for me as much as I care for them.

Aren't we fortunate that we all have met? I feel very lucky to have you out there, somewhere, participating in some way in my life.

24 comments:

Ellen said...

No doubt that the feeling is mutual, Saurkraut!
We are too much alike in the respect that I often find myself in conversation with people I don't really know either. They are the "strangers" in line with you on the elevators, or super market lines. Since we are all in a similar situation, the ice gets broken a little just by circumstance.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

A feel good stroy to start my day.

I always make chit chat with old folks in my town, they get lonely (as do I) and it's nice to shoot the breeze.

michelle said...

How sweet. The sisters are handling a very difficult situation and I bet you just made their day!

SmileDragon said...

That is so sweet! The world would be a much happier place if we could all just learn from you. :)

TSB said...

And we are fortunate to have met you as well....

Ted said...

I check in on you every day like we know each other and I am always impressed how you make us learn, laugh and love the people around us.

~Deb said...

What a great story! I loved it. You know, my mother always told me, "Debbie, never, ever meet anyone on that intercom." (SHE meant---the "INTERNET"...) Okay, so she's a bit old fashioned. But she never trusted the internet. I met two of my best friends over the internet. I mean, you have to be cautious and all, but you get a feel for the person in general.

In public, I always love talking to people...in fact, my girlfriend and I always sit at the bar to eat dinner at a nice restaurant---JUST so we can meet new people. There's nothing wrong with it.

I think going by your sixth sense will give you some inclination of what that person is all about in a round-about way. Go with your gut feeling.

Great post!

United We Lay said...

I talk to strangers all the time. Why not? Of course, you should be careful about who you talk to and where you talk to them, but why miss out on a pleasant conversation with two little old ladies?

actonbell said...

Great post--that sounds so lovely! You have a great attitude towards strangers.

And yes, I think it's lucky we've all found each other!

FTS said...

I don't believe in living in fear. It's good to be cautious; it's also bad if we miss an opportunity to meet someone who may change our life.

AP3 said...

That's a neat story! Stuff like that never happens to me.

Bryan said...

Yes it's good to be a people person. Sometimes I can relate to people the way you do. Sometimes I don't. Depends of my mood.

Kathleen said...

Love this story. I also start conversations with strangers. Last Thanksgiving time I spent about an hour in the meat department chatting with a facinating elderly man who was a prisoner of war in WWII. His stories were unbelievable and inspiring. He was amazing.

Aunt Jo said...

I met someone very important to me by chance. :o)

What a blessing you were to those ladies and what an unexpected blessing they were to you...

Can we ever be wrong by just being kind to one another?

I am so glad Uncle Joe found you by chance, or was it by blessing? :o) We never know what God has in store for us or who he will put in out path to teach us a lesson or change our lives forever, we just have to be open for the opportunity.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, it's lots of fun to be sorta participating in your life, and vitzy vatza. You are a pleasure to read.

dddragon said...

I start conversations with people at stores and waiting rooms fairly frequently, to the embarressment of my kids. I think it's very interesting how people find each other in the blogsphere.

Senor Caiman said...

The Thai make a very tasty shrimp. During tourist season I like to go to Thai Bay. The Thai aren't real big on curb appeal.

It’s dangerous leaving a dog in a car. I left my Dashound in my car while eating at the Mekong Restaurant on US19 and when I returned to my car Mr. Weiner was no where to be found. Those ladies were lucky.

uncle joe said...

In this case it's a good thing to have a Saur disposition. You are so much fun! thanks

Three Score and Ten or more said...

It is interesting the way life goes. If I am to believe all my elderly aunts, I was like that as a child, talking to everyone, making friends galore. I have not been that way since I have been clearly conscious of my behavior. Give me an audience of 10 to 1000 people and I can entertain them, learn from them, take questions etc., generally have fun. Put me with one or two others, particularly strangers, and I can't think of anything to say. I am (for someone who taught interpersonal communication, this is a crisis admission) totally shy one on one. My wife goes into a store and comes out knowing the life story of almost everyone there. I go into a store and come out with a box of cereal. When we talk to our kids and grandkids on the phone (I have an anti-phone phobia anyway) I always like to be on one phone while my wife is on the other, otherwise the pnone calls tend to be one minute long.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Lovely post!

I love those types of meetings, and have met some interesting that way as well.

Lee Ann said...

I am not surprised. You seem like a very open and easy person, as well as interesting.
I feel very fortunate to have met you and the others "out there" too.

Beaver said...

Love that kinda stuff. Being away from family and friends... well, pretty much all the time, that's almost my bread and butter. If I was afraid to talk to people, I'd be very very lonely.

I like this story. It's heartening!

Cheers!

Mella said...

What a great story.

My mother has always had that talent and I've always hoped to find it within myself as well.

I'm still a little too shy for a Thai dinner with new 'friends' - but perhaps I can work on stirring up a parking lot conversation...baby steps.

mckay said...

for the past several years, i've lost touch with friends and haven't made new friends. i must be putting off 'don't bug me' vibes, even though i'd love a couple of close buddies.

making friends was easier in highschool and college. maybe your mojo will rub off on me, if i hang around...