Monday, January 30, 2012

Just One of Those Faces

I'm standing in a department store browsing. A woman asks me, "Do you know if they have this attachment for a Kitchen-Aide mixer?" As it happens, I don't but I do know where they have the stand mixers so I tell her that much and suggest she ask the clerk who I just saw in that area. She moves on. I continue browsing. Not for the first time has this happened to me. Actually, it happens quite often. I can be standing outside waiting and someone will ask me for directions. I used to get asked for the time quite a bit. Now we don't ever need to ask the time what with all the gadgets we have on our person that wink the time at us.

I used to wonder what it is about me that make people ask me these things. Now, after all these years, I've just come to accept, I must have one of those faces. But what is the quality that I give off that makes people think that out of all the people that surround them, I am the one they will ask?

I once had my astrology chart read. The woman who did this has a great reputation of being able to provide insight and accuracy about things of this nature. It was very interesting. One of the things she said was, "People think you are an expert. When you tell them something, they believe you. I'm not certain what this quality is, I just know that it's very much a part of who you are and how you are perceived."

I thought, "Wow...maybe that's why so many people ask me things!" And then the next thought was, "I need to be very aware of this and I best not take it lightly." From that day on, I've always tried to be aware of the power that words have and my ability to speak them. If people are going to believe me, I need to behave in a very credible way. It's a lot of responsibility.

I take it very seriously. If you ask me a question, I will do everything I can to give you a solid answer...even if I don't know you and you want to know about stand mixers.

At the same time I wonder about, why me? I also wonder about people who seem to be able to avoid all sort of Human contact. You know the ones I mean...the ones who can almost clear a path in front of them and see people move out of their way. The one who makes you feel like, "If this were the last person on earth, I still wouldn't ask them for directions!"

Do they do this on purpose? Do they give off some vibe that makes us avoid them? Do they practice this art, or are they caught in a bubble of silence that is years in the making? Did they start it? Or is it that others have isolated them for so long, that they now wear it like a steel armor?

When I am out and about, I talk with everyone. I don't have to know you. I will say, "hello," or make a passing comment. For me, a stranger is simply a friend whom I have not yet made. Often, people seem startled at first, but most will respond. When you smile at them, even with a slight hesitancy, the smile is returned.

Even if I don't smile, I try to make certain through eye contact that I saw them...truly saw them. And for just a second, the fact that they were in the same space and time with me, registered. They mattered.

And maybe that's why I have just one of those faces. One that seems safe; open; available. So that anyone who needs a momentary respite from the closed spaces we all occupy, can do so with a sense of safety.

But, truly, I don't know what it is about me. I just have a face that says, "It's all right, you can ask me." After all this time I've come to think of it as a gift.

Do you speak with strangers when you're out in the world? I do, and that has made the world seem a whole lot less strange.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Will Answer You


Eva Gallant said...

I often speak to comes from years in sales. My husband is occasionally embarrassed!

Miss Robyn said...

I am always chatting to people - it drives Joe nuts!!
but I do understand what you say about yourself - I actually feel that through the blog - that if I asked you something, you would tell me straight and the truth. and I also feel the safety that you put across - like one could say something to you and it would never go any further. thankyou xo

henry725 said...

I always thought I had counselor stamped on my forehead! I think it is from years of being in retail when I make eye contact I invite them in and pretty soon I know more than I need to know!

Alison said...

Hi there, Fellow Talker-To-Strangers! I can understand why people trust you and ask you things. As my daughter used to say, "Is that a face or is that a face?" (Well, it's all in the way you say it and you have to do the cheek pinching thing at the same time. :-)) What intrigued me during my year living in France was how often cars would stop and I would be asked directions! Did I look like a wise local, I wonder?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Holly, I'm sitting here smiling and wishing beyond words that we lived closer. And I hope you know that if I was a better writer I'd have written this post about you myself because it's exactly what I've always thought of you. I've trusted you from your very first comment.
xoxo jj

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