Eager to engage

There’s something I do that puts people on edge. OK, there’s a lot, but I’m going to focus on one thing. I break the ice. I see somebody I think I might like to get to know, or to talk to, or want to find out where they got their very cool purse, and I go up to them and strike up a conversation. Often I am rewarded with a friendly response, sometimes it turns into a conversation for a few minutes, and occasionally it results in more. But sometimes I’m met with an icy stare and that makes me doubt myself or wonder if there’s still lunch in my teeth.

I blogged this weekend about this sort of thing when I talked about a bicyclist taking a pull from me on Saturday’s ride. The fact that he thanked me made a huge difference in how I felt about it. A previous time when I was giving a cyclist a pull, who departed without even grunting at me, I felt challenged and beaten. It felt more like a chase than a team effort. Later that morning, while I was at the Koko Marina Starbucks with my family, the same guy who I was pulling earlier was sitting right outside. I told John that I was going to go out and say hi. One of John’s eyebrows shot up, but he wasn’t surprised. He is used to my doing this sort of thing by now. He just worries that it will be unpleasant.

I go up to the guy and said, “Hi! Do you recognize me?” (How could he? I’m bathed, in civies and not my kit, and I’m no longer in a bicycle helmet) I turn a little bit, bend over and look over my shoulder: “Now do you recognize me?” It worked, he did, and we talked a little bit. We’re now Facebook friends and I told him about how I had blogged about the ride and told  him where to find this fine collection of mostly prose but sometimes angst.

As we were leaving, I introduced John and the girls to Dwayne, who we later learned put in 70-plus miles that day. He gave me his LIVESTRONG business card, and we learned he’s shooting for 1,000 miles by a certain deadline, possibly by the end of 2010.

I have not been placed on this earth to sit back and be quiet, but I realize that I sometimes have to. When I can, I relieve the bottled-up pressure of  my curiosity, my enthusiasm, my wanting to learn and love and to expand my reach through another person. I am very yang to my husband’s yin. But he has his moments, too.

After all that he tweeted to me: “I’m in awe of how outgoing you are. How’d you wind up with a wallflower like me?”

Depth, darling. I wanted, I want, depth.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. It’s nice when the people you brazenly go up and talk to turn out to be nice. I give you credit for it. Can I go back to trying to be invisible now?

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