Maybe the Internet has taken away the mystery or fear of meeting new people, I'm not sure. But this week, three cases leaped to my attention where new folk met new friends not on the internet. These weren't just superficial hi, howya doin' chance meetings. They had a deeper connection.
Thanksgiving is a great time to talk about this topic.
The first new unexpected friend I'll share happened at the local community college during a Citizens Police Academy class. BTW, this is a great class for everyone and is offered all around the country. My greatest take away was the strategies for driving on ice. Of course, I enjoyed the tour through the jail because of the unplanned riot in the women's wing, and sitting in the jury box for the first time while the judge gave her presentation on the courts.
The point being is I met classmates. We had a "graduation", a food and chat time during the last class hour. I took a handful of bookmarks with photos and info about my debut book, Anders' Redemption, released this October. Each person asked questions about the book and the role of an author.
I stayed with a few classmates to clean up the food and noticed a lady I hadn't met yet. Now, I am not great at the personal introduction thing. Still, I yanked on some courage and went to her. I handed her a bookmark and told her about my book. She said, "This looks like a really nice book. Do you know what I do for my job?"
"I am a librarian. Go to the library and ask for Patty. Tell her I sent you there. She will put your book on display for Christmas."
Talk about surprise!
Later in the week, NPR hosted a story about a man who shared a ride in an Uber car. After a great conversation, the other person got out at their destination and the man continued to his destination. Wanting to continue the friendship, but not knowing how to get in contact with the person, he posted flyers around town. He wrote: If you are the person who liked, he listed a few things they talked about, mentioned the uber, and left his phone number. Oddly enough, the new friend called and they connected.
I've heard mocking about the American Hallmark commercialism. My take is: companies are not the only ones who benefit from graduations, holidays, birthdays and other celebrations. We the people of these United States and people around the world benefit from getting together. After all, as the old song goes: "The more we get together the happier we'll be. Cause your friends will become my friends and my friends will become your friends..."
Internet isn't the only way to meet new people, to keep in touch, or to connect. There's something about a hug, a real smile, hearing a giggle behind a word, and all the body language that comes with personal contact.
I challenge you to make a personal contact with some different than you normally would during this holiday season. Sure it will be difficult. You won't have the safeguard of turning off your computer screen, you may actually have to speak to the person. GASP! I say this because I have the same fears.
Arm in arm, reader. Let's go meet someone.
Brice Anders' has a slightly different problem. He doesn't mind meeting people, but due to an injury, he can't remember names. Talk about awkward when bumping into the same person several times in one week! Want to know what happens next? Anders' Redemption, a Christmas story, is on sale through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, both ebook and paperback.
Barnes and Noble paperback link
Barnes and Noble Nook link
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Do you have a unique meet-someone story? Share it in the comment.