Update: I published the original post on Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015. Since then, my husband and I have continued to chat with many innocent bystanders. We have bonded with our new friends, and these new connections have continued to help us grow closer.
We are striving to talk to everyone in the world! Here’s what happened when we were at the airport several weeks ago. We were circling through the long term parking lot, in the shuttle, suitcases rattling by our side. We stopped to pick up another couple about our age (i.e. “old”). On our way to the terminal, we got that tingly feeling of friendly possibilities and we ventured a hello. After a few pleasantries and discussion of our destinations, we learned that this couple was on their way to a long-awaited family wedding, BUT, they were eager to get home! “Why?” we inquired.
“Because we have to soak our cod this week!”
We still had a few turns before the terminal, so we managed to dig deeper and we learned that this couple was part of a first generation Italian-American family that celebrated the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. They shared with us a colorful description of all the components of the feast- shrimp, calamari, different sauces, and of course, the cod. Grandma was still the leader of the large family.
All too soon, they had to jump off the shuttle. My husband and I were so entertained and enriched by meeting this couple. We were so glad we had said “Hello”.
Here’s the original post:
#YouHadMeAt…Hello! You know what day November 26 is this year, but did you know that November 21 was World Hello Day? Since 1973, people have celebrated WHD by greeting 10 people, to promote peace through communication. This year my husband and I will embrace the promise of World Hello Day.
And we needed to add some embraces to our lives. After over 30 years in harness, in a pushbutton marriage, we were on automatic pilot. Alarm, groan, scramble to get to the shower first, herd the kids off to school, work, deadlines, business trips, school activities, meal planning and cleaning, entertaining…piece of cake! We were the cast of our own Broadway show, performing the same act day after day- the longest running family drama in showbiz history!
Then came retirement- you know that feeling when the wheels touch down and the jet engines reverse? We were at the end of our runway- jolt! Now what were we supposed to do with our glorious golden years?
We picked through the rummage bin of our lives and selected some hobbies and activities to do together-travel, fine dining, cleaning out the basement. We had fun, but we still weren’t connected. We were doing chest bumps- a quick hit and then bouncing away to our own orbits. One evening, while enjoying a glass of a bold cabernet, we came up with a new activity to share. “Wow, let’s do it!” we said as we clinked our glasses in harmony.
“Let’s talk to everyone we meet. Let’s chat with everyone in America!” So what if we would now become those two old goats who want to talk your ear off about the good old days?
Here’s a tip if you want to make friends everywhere you go- wear a t shirt with your favorite sports team on it. I discovered this in an airport concourse. While wearing an NBA t-shirt and waiting for my spouse by a bathroom, a woman pounced on me, hugged me and said, “Did the Cavs win last night?” When my husband found me, I introduced him to my new BFF and we bantered about basketball until our flight was called. We had notched another new friend! As we jammed our bags in the overhead bin, Hubs and I basked in the glow of sharing a pleasant experience that proved to us that together, we were the best of life partners.
Consider yourself warned. If you see two grey heads with sports caps and t-shirts sitting at your favorite bar, hiking a scenic trail, or arguing about the best price for lima beans at the grocery, walk away unless you want to chat about the weather, traffic, vacation, and our dog and kids for the next hour. Happy World Hello Day! And Happy Thanksgiving!
I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I am writing a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement.
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