I was meeting a friend at Starbucks the other day and while I was standing in line, in a kind of noncommital fashion, I started a conversation with a complete stranger. Shocking, I know. With all the Christmas displays and whatnot around I was standing a little further behind the woman ahead of me and when I looked up there was a man standing kind of next to me. I looked at him, as if to say “is it you or me?” when he made a gesture that I was next. He said to me, “I’m not in a big hurry.” I thought to myself, I suppose that most of the people here are because it’s that time of the morning. But, I’m not one of them! Then he proceeds to tell me that standing in line will give him high blood pressure anyway. I told him, “By all means, I’m in no hurry, you go ahead.” He returns with, “I don’t have anything to do for another half an hour when I call my wife in England.” Bingo, change the subject.
I segue with, “What time is it there?” Then, we started to talk about his wife living there because of her elderly mother and he’s living here; British airways; the difference between English security and ours; and the best part? The hog and the dog. He said he’s living all by himself in a 4 bedroom house with a dog, 2 somethings–I didn’t hear what exactly, and Harley with a side car. You can’t talk to me about dogs and side cars without getting geeked. He has a Rottweiler who rides in the side car, hello. It gets better, the dog has a scarf and doggles that he wears. I love it! After I really thought about it, I realized this man looked a lot like Santa. He had a full white beard, although he wore his rubber banded at the very bottom. He also had rectangular readers that he wore at the end of his nose. At first I just took him for an aging biker-type but after we’d been talking I realized he was more of the Santa type. He was also very intelligent, funny and interesting. Did I mention he has a dog who rides in a side car? Fantastic! Our conversation made the wait so pleasant. It also reduced the wait time for my friend, who was running late. It was also nice that we turned the conversation around to something that didn’t involve kvetching.
I love this one: