Saturday, April 28, 2012
Those "Awkward" Silences
Earlier this week I was hanging out with some other parents in a hallway waiting for our kids to get out of a music class. It was totally quiet and everybody was kind of minding their own business. Some were reading, others were looking at their computers. A dad (who was also waiting for one of his kids) came walking down the hallway and randomly said, "does anybody here want to sign a petition?" I don't remember what the petition was for, but I do remember it wasn't a petition I wanted to sign. The other parents kind of acted like they didn't hear him, but I looked over at him and shook my head no. It was extremely awkward, nobody said anything after the guy said it, complete silence. I went back to reading my magazine that I had brought, but it made me think of other "awkward" silences, like stepping into an elevator with a bunch of people or waiting in a crowded doctor's office. Most people don't really know each other and if you do start talking then other people kind of stare at you. One day this week on my walk, I passed a man I didn't know who was walking his dog. I looked right him and said, "Good morning, what a beautiful dog!!!" He smiled back at me and said, "thank you!" I didn't know this guy from a hole in the wall and I could have blown past him, not acknowledging him. To me that's just rude! Who cares if you know the person or not, how hard is it to smile or say hi??