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I am not a fan of chit chat. I’ll usually deflect the rote conversational dances we’re supposed to engage in with people we’ll never see again.
The other day though…. I’m driving through Del Taco (which is always a great way to just get your stuff, pay and leave) and the teenager working the window says “Isn’t it a beautiful day today?”
I look up from my phone and he’s not looking at me. He’s looking outside. ”I mean really… this is a beautiful day.” I kind of smile to myself because I don’t know what else to do. Here’s a random person, not asking “how are ya?” or “how ya doin’?!” but really asking me a question.
Of course, I was trying to listen to the end of the really entertaining story about a man, a homeless girl and a dog on NPR so I say, “You know what? it really is” and I flash a genuine smile.
Having satisfied his attempt to be friendly, I turn my attention back to the radio. ”You know…. my sister doesn’t want to go outside today. She’s sitting inside reading a book.” OK. Radio gets turned off. ”She doesn’t know what she’s missing obviously.” See. I can do this too.
“Read outside, I told her. You see… we don’t own a television. All of us are book readers.” Now normally, I’m annoyed that some stranger is telling me personal information…. I’m a big believer in non-over-sharing. And double hyphened words. But I was actually intrigued. What kind of prairie family doesn’t have a TV?
But then my tacos were ready and I had to leave. But the next time someone asks me “Isn’t it a beautiful day out?”, I’m going to pay attention.