May Days
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How To Talk To People.

 

 It’s come to my attention that some people don’t readily talk to other people.

You know, such as when you’re standing in line at the market, or at Target, or Costco.

Or while in an elevator or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or even sitting alongside someone while cheering your ten year old on during his basketball game.  Even when your kids are on the same team.

As we all know the last thing I am is judgmental – but this is really stupid.

In my opinion people should talk to one another more. 

We have a rich language, a bunch of them actually.  Diverse vocabularies, lovely sounding words like gallimaufry, Francisco and irrevocably.

{Seriously, have you even heard Alan Rickman pronounce irrevocably?  It’s absolutely beautiful.}

I have a friend who we’ll call Thelma (even though her name is actually Lori.  I’m like that.) 

I met Thelma a little over a year ago when both our sons just happened to be on the same rec league basketball team.  

Naturally I spoke to her first.

Let me tell you about Thelma:  she is very “put together”.  That is to say she always looks good.  Her hair is styled, her makeup is great, her nails look pretty, she wears jewelry, and her clothes are new, stylish, and they match.  She actually wears outfits.

In other words she and I have absolutely nothing in common.

Yet we do.

Thelma and I were sitting next to one another in a long row of folding metal chairs watching the game with a bunch of other parents and assorted siblings.  I had noticed at the previous game which boy was her son, and that he and my son appeared to be on friendly terms.

This I found encouraging; despite the fact that Thelma looked as I’ve described above and I, well, look like Me.

To continue…

I also noticed one of her daughters had Down Syndrome, and of course my Girly Girl also has Down Syndrome.

So being Me, during half time I successfully made eye contact with Thelma and initiated a conversation by saying “Oh, your daughter has Down Syndrome?”

Now – I have heard this question/statement many many times over the last twenty-four years

(yes, Girly Girl actually just turned twenty-four.  Don’t ask me how this happened…)

And to be honest it never fails, at some level, to be just a bit irritating.

I still can’t say why…

At any rate I watched Thelma’s face take on that oh so familiar, rather guarded “holy crap here’s yet another fool asking me whether my child has Down Syndrome when she obviously does” look as a strained smile lit her lips and she said “Yes…”

And I said “So does mine”.  And Thelma’s face (as everyone’s does when they hear this) immediately changed and we were bonded from that moment.

So we spent the next half chatting and sorta, more or less watching the game and finding out we had a whole lot more in common.  Thelma homeschools her children, I homeschool mine, neither of us are members of the predominant religion here in Utah.

{Yes Utah has a predominant religion and sometimes it can get in the way of friendships.  Unfortunate and silly but totally true.  Sigh…..  But I just ignore it and thank heavens for the lovely friends I have – whatever religion they favor.}

One of her daughter’s names is Hope, my Girly Girl’s first name is Hope.  She went to George Fox University, I am a Quaker
{ie:  George Fox was the founder of the Quaker Religion.}

Our ten year old sons evidently have everything which is humanly possible to have in common in common.  And the list went on.

It was very strange.

And we both went home that afternoon to inform our husbands we had just met “this woman who I have sooooo much in common with, isn’t it just too weird?”

And now we’re friends.  And our ten years olds are best buds.

Thanks (in large part at least) to my big mouthed friendly self, a gracious god, and my amazing ability to talk to people even when they’re cuter than me and have nice nails and matching outfits.

So, who have you chatted with lately??

Lisa8


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