A bold, bald, robust man leaned over to peer into my plate and said, “Ma’am, what are you eating there?” When I said Avocado/Bacon Benedict, he jumped on it and ordered the same.

Now I’ve looked at diner’s plates as I walked through restaurants before, but this was above and beyond. We were having breakfast in a new cafe and the seating was extra close. The next table was literally two feet away and Mr. Extravert was wondering what to have. I must admit to being startled at first but, truth be told, I loved it and have often wanted to do the very same thing. The two of us immediately started kabitzing about the dilemma of ordering in a new restaurant and continued spotty conversation for the rest of the meal. You know, having a conversation like we were actually friends. Very fun.

My family has likely cringed at my gall on occasion, but I like people and conversation is my game. For some reason an appropriate comment jumps right into my head, but my “polite” side usually trumps the impulse. I’ve decided, after this last encounter, to follow my gut more often.

When I do follow the impulse to speak up people’s faces change. A serious face suddenly blossomed into a smile. I’m convinced that we all love strangers talking to us and wonder why the word “polite” is so important.

I love meeting new people and have discovered that the grocery store makes it easy. Comments or questions about what’s on the shelf or in the bins come naturally when someone is standing right next to you. Also, people love giving advice. I came home once with a new German Gumbo recipe from an enthusiastic chef hanging out in the soup aisle. Here’s my most impressive encounter. I saw a unique jacket in the checkout line once and inquired about where to get one. This woman not only asked for my email address so she could send me the online link, but it was waiting in my inbox by the time I got home. I get to think about this kind lady every time I where this wildly colorful jacket.

Weeded Out this week:
The desire to be inconspicuous. The desire to fit into the “norm”. I no longer want to be a sheep who just follows along and, besides, maybe politeness is just overrated!