The Art of Conversation

The other day I went to a movie with my family. When the movie was over, we stood up and walked out. Apparently I move a lot faster than the rest of my family though, because when I got out of the theater, nobody that I thought would be behind me was behind me. Nor were they anywhere in sight. That happens to me a lot. So I sat down on a bench to wait for them.

The next person to come through the door (out of the same movie I had just come out of) was a short, squat stranger in sweats and a baseball cap. She gave me a smile of acknowledgment as she walked past and I smiled slightly and gave a little nod. After she had gone a couple more steps, she stopped completely, stood there for a second as if trying to decide what to do, then turned around and walked back and stood directly in front of me.

“So…….what’d you think?” she asked me, smiling expectantly.

I scanned her face for a minute trying to figure out what it was she WANTED me to think. Then, determining that she must want to know what I thought about the movie we both just came out of, I looked at her eyes for a microsecond longer, trying to read if she loved it or hated it, until I came up with what seemed like a safe answer:

“It was quite an experience…..”

“Yeah. It’s just another story. You know?” she said, while raising her eyebrows and shrugging her shoulders.

“I know,” I replied, shaking my head in disbelief. “How do they keep coming up with those anyway?”

Then she just stood there while I just sat there, both of us kind of bobbing our heads at one another in affirmation, while trying to figure out where to go from here.

“Welp, see ya,” she finally said. And then she put her hand high in the air as though to salute me, turned on her heel and walked around the corner, out of sight.

  1. #1 by Chris Linebarger on February 7, 2010 - 10:26 pm

    Your random conversations with strangers are entirely different than mine. Yours fascinate me.

    Like

  2. #2 by Tonia on February 8, 2010 - 10:08 am

    Funny how even though the person is a stranger, you want to give them a safe answer. Why not let it all hang out? All your opinions and who gives a diddle squat if that’s what she “wanted to hear” She asked you, not the other way around. I talk big, but in actuality, I’d do the same thing you did.

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  3. #3 by Mom on February 8, 2010 - 10:42 am

    I think that poor woman was searching for the meaning of life in that movie but all she found was just another story. There is really no way to have an adequate answer for her even if you had studied for that test the night before. So I like your answer a lot, Leslie. How DO they keep coming up with those!?

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  4. #4 by Carlee on February 8, 2010 - 2:37 pm

    “I never expected that.”

    “I don’t think anyone did.”

    Like

  5. #5 by Leslie on February 8, 2010 - 3:38 pm

    Chris, I’m glad that I fascinate you.

    Tonia, I know. Why not, indeed? That is the question.

    Mom, thanks for giving me permission to stop studying for that test.

    Carlee, thanks for adding to my conversation. I knew it would come up somehow.

    Like

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