Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Let's Just Run to the Store, It'll Only Take A Minute

Do you ever realize that there are some spouses or friends of friends that when you think about it, you might never have had a single conversation with in the 20 years you've known them?

Stop for a minute and think. Do you know people like that?

You say things like "hi, how are you, how's work" or whatever, but it's always in passing. When you're dropping something off, passing at the buffet, things like that Or, you are both there as a conversation is happening, but there are always lots of other people partaking in the conversation.

Usually, these people are spouses of your friends or family, or they are friends of friends that seem to always be around. They are always around but they never actually have to talk directly to you.

Well, what if there was a spontaneous urgency to do an errand and you were the only two people who could do it? Like, let's say there was a family reunion happening, and everyone and their brothers were there and suddenly, there was NO ICE and you needed lots of it for the rest of the party.

And the only car that wasn't parked in was yours, and the only other person who seemingly had free hands (I don't know what's going on at this reunion, but EVERYONE has their hands full or muddy or greasy except for you and this person) was this person. What if the two of you had to run to the store to get 20 bags of ice?

What would that car ride be like? What would you talk about? Would you have the radio on? Would you make small talk? Would there be total silence?

In my scenario, you would have to drive for about 15 minutes, in small town traffic with stoplights and of course, one would be a red light. You'd go to a local chain grocery store and have to go through the store, get the items, checkout, put it all in the car and drive back to the reunion. The one where everyone else's car is parked in and all of the people's hands are full of mud, remember?

What would that be like?

This all came to me when k-ster and I went to a wedding for his friend t-ster in New Jersey. We stayed in a hotel not far from where the wedding was to take place, and also not far from t-ster's house. The night before the wedding, the girl stayed at their house and t-ster and some friends stayed at the hotel. In the morning, the boys all went down for breakfast, including k-ster.

Suddenly,k-ster had been put into service, so he'd be back later, in time to get ready for the wedding.

The bride was at the salon getting her hair done and her car broke down and she needed to do some kind of errand before she actually got her hair done. I forget the specifics. I know all of the girls were at the salon but she had to leave and get something and then go back. She called t-ster, frantic, and wanted to use his truck. But she REFUSED to see t-ster since it was the wedding day. She was FREAKING.OUT and I have no doubt because she is very dramatic.

So, t-ster asked k-ster to run his truck to the salon and the bride's sister would give him a ride back to the hotel.

And, since things are never as smooth as they are on tv, there was a little stop along the way back to the hotel. After the truck was dropped off for the bride, the sister was driving k-ster back to the hotel. They were total strangers to each other. But k-ster can always dream up something to say, so I am sure he was holding his own. And then she told him she had to run to the store on the way back to the hotel, to get diapers. And he had no choice but to go and I am sure he was fine with it (what else could he do?)

This was when I started thinking about the Let's just run to the store test. What would happen if I had to run to the store to do an errand with a few of the people I've known for so long but have never had a conversation with?

I've now started to thing about this test when I meet someone new that I know is going to be around for the long haul. I start to imagine the scenario that will require the two of us to run out and do something and have to speak to each other.  It's always very awkward in my head, like it probably would be in real life.

And I also always imagine that on the way to the store, we both witness something completely absurd.  I put that into the scenario because I want it to make us laugh so we dont' sit in total silence.

So, go think about who you know that you would want to do the Let's just run to the store test with because you know you've never spoken to each other for more than about 2 minutes.

And then imagine a new situation.  The Here, can you hold my baby for a minute? scenario.  This is also with a person that you have known forever but have never really talked to, someone who has certainly never shown interest in your baby and someone who would probably shock the whole crowd if he/she were to hold said baby.  Again, everyone in the world is there but they are all up to their elbows in something and you really need both hands for just a minute.  Again, the only person who isn't doing anything is this one person.

Go think about it and come back and tell me if I am the only one who can sit with someone in total silence for way too long and not think it's really all that weird....

4 comments:

  1. This topic makes me itchy. I'm totally fine with the conversational stuff at parties. I'm an extrovert after all. But the one-on-one with basically a stranger makes me very anxious.

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  2. Hard to believe pers\haps, but I love silence. I'm very comfortable with it. I sat next to the other dance moms for an entire year, and didn't utter one word. It drives them crazy!

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  3. What an awkward and uncomfortable situation! I'd have to think of something to say :).

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  4. I hate entertaining the first few guests at a party before the majority shows up so this scenario makes me really uncomfortable. I think I'd find a baby and make it cry to lighten it up a bit.

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