Why me, Lord?
I want to conduct a little unscientific survey:
How many of you get stopped by complete strangers anywhere you go who either tell you their problems or engage you in completely random conversation?
This has been my special curse all of my life. Sometimes, it has been cool, like when Vincent Price personally talked to me about a modern art exhibit at the British Museum, or when Ozzie Smith teased me about playing racquetball while pregnant or when Al Gore and I joked for 3-4 minutes over a dropped contact lens.
But most of the time, it's just bizarre. If I am standing in a Barnes and Noble, minding my own business, customers approach me to ask where a book is or who an author is even if the employee is standing five feet away. It has gotten to the point that I feel they should at least give me the employee discount or put me on salary.
If I am waiting for a table in a restaurant, here will come some random dude who will tell me his life story.
Last year, on the way to work, I was asked directions to someplace while sitting in traffic at a stop light. Three times.
Today, I'm zipping along on my bike at 7:30 am, and this guy I had passed a couple of times waves me down. Since there were about thirty other people on the path with us, I stopped, and off this dude goes with this long story about a bicycle safety website he runs and blah blah blah blah freakin' blah. I was shaking him off more than Nuke Laloosh tried to shake off Crash Davis, but it was like there was a giant sucking sound before I could get away and tentacle marks left on my arm. I mean, what part of "I'm working out, here" (said like Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy) doesn't translate? You would think that being in motion would preclude these unscheduled little tete a tetes.
Anyone else out there suffering like this?
Is it my friendly, open expression? Is it that I look like I've got the answer, no matter what the question? Is it heaps of intellect bristling off my brow?