I don’t know why, but I always feel the need to connect somehow with strangers. Take yesterday for example. I went for a walk with Henry to the park and pushed him in a swing. A few feet away there were these two kids (obviously siblings) who were playing a game and arguing with each other. Their argument made no sense to me, one kept yelling “No, I’M the White House, YOU’RE Washington DC” and the other would reply “NO I’M NOT!!!” over and over again until the younger kid got up and said “That’s it, I’m telling mom” and ran over to a woman sitting on a bench and told on the other one. The mom started yelling at both of them in Russian. I recognized a few of the words since a couple of years back, my coworker Julie taught me a few words and sentences. Anyways, because of this rudimentary knowledge of Russian, I felt someone connected to this woman yelling at her kids in exasperation. [Side bar: when I told Chris about these kids fighting and that I had no idea what the argument was about and that I didn’t understand why it escalated so quickly, he said to me “they’re kids, get used to stupid arguments.]
This isn’t the first time this has happened and it’s often happened for less. I’ll be walking down the street and I’ll see a woman pushing her baby in the same stroller as Henry’s and I’ll give her a knowing smile. Or when I used to take the bus to work, if someone was reading a book I had just read, I would feel this strong compulsion to strike up a conversation with them because obviously we’re kindred spirits right? I mean, we BOTH read the Hunger Games?!? Who else has read that? (answer: everyone). I’ll even rehearse how I’ll break the ice with these people in my head and the only thing holding me back is my crippling fear that all that rehearsed speech will come spilling out of me in reverse order and that I’ll look like a crazy person (I know by admitting to all of this, I’m toeing that line pretty closely). Heck, I once almost chatted up a woman on the bus because we had the same umbrella!
Am I the only one who does this? Is it a woman thing? A human thing? Why am I so obsessed in identifying with people?