Have you ever met someone and felt a connection immediately? I don’t mean a connection with a potential lover, I mean a connection with a stranger who feels like she’s that older, wiser family member. Like your grandmother or something. When I first moved to the south, I came across this individual and wondering what she’s up to today, has led me to this post.
Living in FL I have been around “older” folks quite often and have had conversations with them. Yes, at times I did feel forced into the conversation, but in my case it’s not like I have anything to lose by engaging in it, often times I was happy to listen.
I used to walk in the mall early in the morning, because its a lot cooler than walking outside, no bugs (besides strangers who wanted to see my baby, 😉 ) and it was the perfect environment. I stopped going because I would find myself interrupted by someone, or a group of people who noticed the stroller and felt the need to surround me. Something about babies/toddlers, it’s mesmerizing.
Back to my point. I would never get to finish the type of fast paced walk I planned. I could be annoyed, but I remember the day I sat down and a woman decided to sit right next to me. I wondered why she chose this bench, when there were four other benches in the same area, empty…but it’s not like I brought the seat from home, so I politely said, good morning and she smiled at me. That smile literally turned into an almost 2 hour conversation. All I wanted was a quick rest period and here I am discussing life. This woman shared some funny, sweet and even sad stories with me. I was curious, because some of my friends told me I always look so serious, so I asked the woman what made her decide to sit with me. She told me, she was trying something new. Haha, I realized I was an item she could cross off her bucket list. She actually told me, she has NEVER had a conversation with a young black girl before. WOW!!!!!
I fell in love with her personality, and the fact that she was so blunt. That’s just how I am, so I didn’t take offense to it. We both laughed. I was surprised that this woman, who by the way mentioned she’s in her 70s, has never had a conversation with a “black girl”. She laughed even harder when I corrected her and said, “not only did you have a conversation with a black girl, you just spoke with a PuertoTrinNewYorkan”. I’m a sistah, but my parents are Puerto Rican and Trinidadian and I was born in NY so she was able to kill 5 birds with one stone, hehe.
I enjoyed getting most of the attention. Usually, I am invisible whenever my son was around. Yes, her first thought was to mention how cute my baby was, but most of the conversation was directed towards me. She really wanted someone to speak with, I could tell she wanted someone to listen, and I was going to do just that. We were both intrigued by how much we had in common, who would’ve guessed? Both married at the age of 20 and time to ourselves included a simple stroll in a mall, lol. It was just two hours of my lifetime that we spoke, or have ever seen each other. But this woman owns it, and oh how I miss her.
I always hear about older people being ignored and disrespected, I encourage people to be nicer to them and pray we get to live that long.