Thursday, August 15, 2013

Collecting People, Rules for Reformed Introverts

irst of all I am a reformed introvert. I wasted my youth being shy. Now that I am past the age of consent, I believe that age is 55, I have learned that saying hello to people I do not know is almost never dangerous.  As a young man I would smile self-consciously at people I meet, hoping futilely that they would start a conversation.  Now I’m not just specifically talking about meeting women, I’m talking about meeting people in general.

In Windsor Gardens there is a trail that runs parallel to Clinton, from Alton Way to Centerpoint. This trail and other trails like this are ideal for collecting people. You potentially have an immediate camaraderie with anyone you meet. The odds are that you are both residents of this wonderful community.

There are certain indications that the person is open to amiable conversation.  The most prominent indication is the presence of a dog. The second most prominent indication is when they are sitting down and have a dog.  The easiest opening line is always, “May I pet him (or her, take a guess)”.  The inevitable response is “sure”. Show your knowledge by letting the dog sniff the back of your hand, and then gently pet him. Viola, you now can talk to the dog’s human.  The next line should be “He (or she) is gorgeous”.  The conversation is open.

One of my favorite ways to continue the conversation is obviously the weather. “Isn’t is lovely today?” Living in Denver there is always “This is unusual weather, isn’t it”? You are safe to use this starter because the weather in Denver is almost always unusual.  “No matter how nasty the weather gets in Denver, wait a little while and it’ll be gorgeous.” “At it’s worst the weather is still nicer than back east.”  If the object of your conversation does not have a dog, then go straight to the weather. Another continuation-topic is always “How long have you lived in Windsor Gardens”?

There are some topics that must be avoided. Never discuss politics. “The Mayor (Governor or President) is a dope”.  Stay away from religion.  “What are you doing for Easter (Yom Kippur)?”  Another conversation killer is feeble attempts at humor. “Are you going to the human sacrifice later?” Nothing will kill a conversation quicker than these three: politics, religion or poor jokes.

You are now sitting with him/her and he/she asks you: “Aren’t you an Episcopalian Democrat?” Quickly look at your watch and exclaim – “Excuse me, I really have to run”. Another great dodge is to say“excuse me, I have to answer this”. Pick up your phone and have a brief conversation followed by “Be right there, – I have to run”.

The glory of meeting people on the trails here is when you run into them at a function, group or club. You have an instant conversation starter now.

Have fun.


No comments:

Post a Comment