Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stranger on the Train

You know those people who meet people everywhere they go. Like in line at the coffee shop or the corner store. Or at the bus stop or supermarket. Well, I wish I could say I was one of those people. But I am definitely not. Sure, I smile and respond when a stranger says hello or makes a comment. I'm not rude. But this is how I see it. I am never going to see you again. I don't know you, and you don't know me. I already have enough friends who I don't even have enough time for, so what's the point, right?

This is particularly true when I travel. I am totally anti-social. I don't want to talk to anyone. I just want to catch up on my novel or listen to my ipod. I don't want to be bothered.

But for the first time, I regret my bad attitude.

Last night I was traveling home by Amtrak train with two of my co-workers. We sat at one of those four seaters that face each other. A young woman was sitting on the fourth seat, and we sat ourselves down in the three empty seats. After such a long day, we all wanted to enjoy a nice cold beer. The stranger overheard and wanted in. So for an hour or so, we were all drinking, talking, and having a good time. She told us all about herself--that she just broke up with her boyfriend and started a new job. My co-workers even tried to hook her up with someone we know from work. It was all in good fun. She even mentioned that she would hang out with us if we were ever back in her city. She was really cool and friendly.

It was just me and her chatting at the end because my co-workers got off an earlier stop. The whole time I was thinking whether I should ask for her contact information. Would it be completely pointless? Will anything really come out of it? Do I really want to pursue a friendship with this girl I just met?

Then my stop came, and we said our good-byes. I hopped off the train and immediately regretted that I didn't get her information. Ugh! I suck! Why can't I just be nice to a stranger? What is wrong with me?

I know her name though. It's Betsy. It was really nice knowing you, stranger on the train.


malou said...

Aww. Too bad! Just know that there are tons of other people in the world and you might even see Betsy again! Still, seems like you had a fun night as long as it lasted :)

Tara said...

Hi, malou! Welcome! I guess I could look at the bright side. It was a fun train ride.

Christine said...

I'm an interesting mix. I can be very antisocial on planes/ trains/ at Starbucks, etc. But every once in a while I really get into a good conversation with a stranger and we end up exchanging business cards. I usually never hear from them again or contact them, but a few times, it's turned into a really good contact for a new job, networking purposes, and once, this lady even set me up with her nephew! Ever since I graduated from college, I don't really meet that many people, so I am getting to the point where, if someone strikes up a conversation with me, I think, "Sure, why not?"

Unless they're super creepy. Those ones I still ignore.

Tara said...

Christine, I should try to be more like you. But like I said, I suck!

Anonymous said...

you should post a missed call add in the classifieds.


Tara said...

What the heck is a missed call ad? Seems stalkerish.