If you spend any extended amount of time with me, you’ll quickly realize that strangers love to talk to me, especially if there’s a counter separating us (like store clerks or, for instance, when I’ve tended bar for charity events). Perhaps it’s that I make direct eye contact, or maybe there’s just something in my face that calls out to the lost and lonely: “talk to Lola, honey.” Which is funny considering this is generally the exact opposite of what I would prefer with respect to my relationship with those scanning my groceries. Nonetheless, for as long as I can remember, these seemingly friendless souls have reached out to me during our few moments together, telling me strange, intimate details about their lives.
Today I ran up to the grocery during my lunch break to pick up some food for the week as well as a few items for the office. This is not the world’s nicest grocery store, but the people are friendly and the goods are cheap; just what I needed for today’s excursion. I separated my items from that of the office’s, and the nice clerk picks up my large bag of peanut M&Ms (for the office, of course…) and begins to tell me that she eats a normal-sized bag every single day and did I think that’s why she’s grown three pant sizes in three weeks? Normally I would consider this to be a rhetorical question, because I’m sure she didn’t want to hear my actual opinion about her health and diet plan (step 1, kick the 12 pack-a-day ciggie habit, babe). But, no, she held my M&Ms hostage while waiting for a response. “Um, well… I mean… I’m sure they’re not HELPING you lose weight…” “Yeah,” she agrees, “or maybe it’s my new medication?” Again, she looks to me for an answer. “Ah, yes, well, I suppose it really could be either of those causing an issue…” And we went on like that before I finally snatched away all my groceries, mumbled a good-luck/good-bye over my shoulder and scurried out of the store.
Does this happen to everyone, or am I just the lucky one?