Sir, Fall Back or Why You Should ALWAYS Wear Sunglasses

My parents have this thing about them that I've talked about before, actually lamented would be a more appropriate description. They both have this uncanny something that makes strangers carry conversations with them EVERYWHERE!! In the doctor's office, shopping for my dad's latest toy, the grocery store, a restaurant, everywhere!! My dad is awful because he really encourages it. As friendly as he is with strangers, you really would think he would have more friends but I can't name a single one of his friends other than a few of his siblings. I guess with 8 brothers and sisters you grew up with at least one good friend, huh?

Anyway, he can absolutely hold his own surrounded by strangers. I got that from him, but I only like to use it at my discretion. He's wild with it. My mom is just very polite. Unlike my dad, she won't initiate it, but like him, she won't try to nip it in the bud once it starts. Me? I avoid eye contact and when on planes, have a newspaper (preferably the NYT and maybe a local in a large city), a magazine (something light like InStyle), a book (something VERY chick lit that I can read in 1-2 plane rides depending on length and interest), AND my ipod... all out at the same time. Can you send anymore signals to LEAVE ME ALONE!? Yeah I don't think so.

Unfortunately, I was utterly unprepared after leaving our mini Hampton reunion in Brunswick, GA this weekend. I stopped at a gas station on 95 and the old black man (at least 65) on the other side of the pump said, "How you doin?" UGHHHHHHHH!! WHY ME!!?? I could just tell from the way he said it that he was the type to carry on a long conversation. At this point I haven't even gotten the nozzle out of its holder.
"Fine, thank you."
"You on yo way to the beach?" What?! Shorts and a tank mean beach? Wow... don't you realize it's like 95 degrees and feels like 100 at 10:30 in the morning? I wish I wasn't wearing this many clothes.
"(laughs) No." I probably shouldn't have laughed but it was involuntary. What a strange question.
"Oh. You look like you on yo way to the beach. What part of NC you from?" Ugh! Stupid NC tags!
"Oh yeah? I was just up there 2 weeks ago and I'm going back 4th of July."
"Oh okay." ...
"You know where Concord Mall is?"
"That's where my brother stays. I'm originally from Greenville, NC."
"Oh okay."
"Your people still stay up there?"
"You married?"
"(laughter) No!"
"Why you laugh like that? You young but you not that young." I laughed like that because that question from men is usually followed by 'Can I have your number' and if you were to ask I would certainly hurt your feelings with something like 'You are old enough to be my grandfather! How old are you????'
"I don't know. That's just funny."
"Oh where you go to school?" WHY ISN'T THIS GAS PUMPING FASTER!?!?!
"The University of Florida."
"What?! All them good schools in NC and you go all the way down to Florida? Why you go there?"
"I like the program."
"You like the program? All them good schools in NC!" FINALLY THE GAS IS DONE!
"Alright, well you have a nice day."
"Thanks, you too."

This is why I shouldn't have left my sunglasses that day. You can't see my eyes, you can't catch my eyes.


Anonymous said...

Maybe he was being polite. Back in the day, it was not uncommon for folk to actually talk to each other. Old people ask me questions all the time. Mostly about what I am doing with my life (which is nothing lol)

Adei von K said...

Epsi is right. But still. Please no convo.

You know he probably wanted to be your sugar daddy but you hurt his feelings (good!) by laughing at his married question.

AND WHAT WAS, "You young but you not that young" SUPPOSED TO MEAN!??!!?

Sparkling Red said...

I don't mind the occasional impromptu conversation, but not with a creepy man of any age. People in Toronto tend to keep to themselves. The best chats I've had have been with couples who are passing through town as visitors. They ask directions and then we have a nice talk. It's only good because it's a refreshing change from everyone ignoring each other all the time.

Rashan Jamal said...

I don't think sunglasses would have deterred him... seems like it would have given him something else to comment on. I don't know what the secret is for getting people to not talk to me. Nothing I do seems to work.

Momisodes said...

LOL at the sunglasses comment.

I really dislike those awkward conversations in public. They always happen when I'm alone. Drives me nuts!

p.s. I think I'll follow your airplane list next time I fly.

Dreamlover said...

Girl, why you live NC and got to FL?? Answer de man!!!! :-)

Liz Dwyer said...

Oh that put a smile on my face after such a day of sadness. Love old folks like that, even if I don't want to always talk to them.

CNEL said...

LoL I even avoid eye contact at work sometimes haha sometimes I don't feel like faking the funk with trumped up pleasant talk.

Jameil said...

epsi... there's polite and then there's nosy. we're at a busy gas station on 95, not my grandma's living room or your grandma's living room or a small town restaurant, any of these places i'd be more than willing to answer more than 3 of your questions.

adei... fall back. not sugar daddy! ya nasty! and seriously. i half wanted to ask him how old he thought i was but didn't dare encourage him.

red... i know right! i think that was the other thing. strange men make me uncomfortable. you never know what they're trying to get from you or if they're trying to become your new stalker or what. i've always wanted to be the type of person visitors ask for advice.

rj... probably not but wow... and i would have to get into a relationship with another person w/that affliction!

momisodes... right! it's like my lack of a companion isn't an invite! my airplane list is great but somehow STILL not always a deterrent!

dream... lolol. act right! at first i thought that was a real question and i was like, um... what? lol

liz... great!

cnel... hahaha. i know that one!

1969 said...

I am an old man magnet so I can't even say anything. *sigh*

Sha Boogie said...

Reason # 4,561 why I like to pretend I'm talking on the phone all the time, lol