Listen to Life: A Conversation Chance
My youngest son-all six feet of him and full mane of hair-and I stepped aside so the older man with the thick white hair could pass with his cart. After passing by, his gaze kept us in our spot.
"Where did he put the twenty dollar bill?" he said, gesturing with his head toward Cameron. "What did he do with the twenty dollars?" The man didn't break a smile. "What did he do with the money? You know, the money you gave him for a haircut?"
We laughed and had a brief, but friendly conversation in which the man admitted that his grandchildren call him a big teaser. The man took a chance of starting a conversation with a quirky opening, and it was a chance encounter that brightened Cameron's and my day. Not only did we have a pleasant surprise, we also learned a good line that we can now use in a multitude of situations. And that is part of the fun.
I have to wonder a few things from the experience. Did we have a look that made him feel comfortable enough to give us a try? If so, I hope we can have that look more often. Would I have noticed someone who was open to this sort of banter? Would I have feared trying a "risky" comment like the one he used? And, why in the world is something that used to be considered a fun comment now considered risky? You know the answer to the last question, but don't let that stop you from reaching out, reaching over and reaching through to others with a little humor and a chance at conversation.
Listen to Life is a free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com). Copyright 2009 Dion McInnis. All rights reserved.