There’s something ironic about the fact that last night I wrote about having a coke at Denny’s with someone and then today I actually DID have a conversation with someone at Denny’s half a continent away from my home.
We had gone to church with our daughter and her family and then off to breakfast afterward. As we were waiting for a table, a 30-something (maybe) gentleman got up to offer me his seat and I plopped my butt down next to a beautiful woman I assumed was his wife. I struck up a conversation with her and found her to be very interesting.
I told her we were here in Maryland to see our new grand daughter and we talked about that for a few moments. She explained she has been a Washington D.C. police officer since 2007. Totally didn’t see that coming. Turns out she’s not very happy with her job. In fact, she is considering quitting and moving to Atlanta with her two children, one 7, the other 14, and going back to college to become a geriatric nurse. She shared with me that she has a fondness for older people. Ah! Something in common we could have continued talking about except that they came to get us just then.
I wished them good day and we all had breakfast. Then on our way out, we passed their table and she caught my wrist, so I stood and talked a few more minutes while Drollery paid our bill.
I asked the gentleman (who turned out to be her boyfriend) if she was planning to take him with her when she left. He laughed and said he hoped so. As it turned out, he was a security guard on Vice President Biden’s compound at the United States Naval Observatory!
The subject of how police work has changed since they’d both gotten into the business came up then, and to my surprise, we were suddenly talking about Ferguson and I was asking them if they’d heard of Sue Bradford Edwards’ book Black Lives Matter, a young reader’s book that hasn’t even been released yet, but which is being attacked by Fox news simply for the title. (At this point Brandon thought I’d lost my mind!)
(Sue has a blog on Word Press. It’s One Writer’s Journey. This has been a very stressful time for her. She was given this subject to write about by her editor, and it just so happens she lives in Ferguson. For more information, see her blog.)
By then Drollery was done and ready to leave. I wished her luck in her career change, she said she hoped the rest of our trip was good. The entire conversation (both pieces) couldn’t have been more than five or six minutes long. It just goes to show you how much you can learn about someone in a very few minutes if you know how to ask good questions.
You know the sad thing about it, though? The one thing I forgot to ask was their names! But then they didn’t ask mine either. I guess in a short-term conversation like that names aren’t nearly as important as our stories.
So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. You might be surprised at how your life could be enriched.