I was raised to say hello. So I do.
If you're standing behind me in line at the grocery store, I say hello. If you're waiting for a train next to me at the MARTA station, I say hi. If I'm stuck in my car at a red light and I glance over to see you in your car, and we make eye contact...I smile and mouth a silent "hello".
As far as I'm concerned, the world is full of my friend's and their friends. Or, friends I haven't met yet. So I say 'hi' a lot. But every now and again in a burst of friendliness, I carry it a bit too far.
Things I've said 'hello' to that weren't actually people:
- a cardboard cutout of Martha Stewart at Macy's
- my reflection in an art installation (see above photo)
- a particularly tall pile of blankets at a charity drop off office
- a self-portrait of Picasso
- a huge planter at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens
But that isn't the worst of it.
After hello, I'm usually at a loss for words. I've got nothing. I can manage about a minute and a half of small talk...but everyone hates small talk. Including me. So I usually do one of two things: I either shut up or blab. There's no middle ground.
I once sat quietly in a room for 45 minutes before anyone realized I was still there. I've also talked to a woman for 10 minutes before I realized she didn't speak English. It's more than a little embarrassing
But it's also why I love to write. The entire process is a conversation between just me and you. Old friends in a corner, our heads together, talking about everything that matters and nothing of importance all at the same time.
I've been on a writing streak lately, and I can't wait to chat with you about my inspiration and process.
After I say hello, of course.