Something about the way I look (or maybe the way I smell) makes strangers have the uncontrollable urge to approach me and tell me their life’s stories. It used to be annoying, but over the years I’ve learned to deal with it and now I even embrace it. Because by-and-large people are pretty darn interesting. And sometimes having someone listen with genuine interest can really brighten your day. Today I must have really been giving off the scent, because so many people accosted me downtown. The first one of note was a man behind me in Starbucks. I didn’t realize that he was talking to me, until I turned around and I was the only one close enough to him. This guy I actually chose to pretend not to pay attention because some of the things he was saying were off-putting. Actually seemed a little racist toward someone he accosted outside.
The second person, an older woman, was actually very pleasant. She greeted several seemingly random people who gave her a familiar “Hi” back. After walking her across the street she started walking along with me, telling me about the wonderful breakfast she had at church that morning. Watermelon, wheat toast with orange marmalade, three cups of coffee and some juice. She made it a point to mention that the marmalade was made in Utah. Cause, you know, those people in Utah sure know their marmalade. This left me wondering why she happened to mention that fact, and I considered that maybe she had contributed the marmalade to the breakfast. Sensing a story behind it I asked her how she knew it was from Utah.
She winked at me and said, “Because that what it said on the label.”