We were walking around the farmer's market this morning and passed a woman who had a small table where she was selling fuzzy scarves to raise money for something or another. I had been inspecting the angry bumper stickers on the table next to hers, and made eye contact and nodded at her as I passed. Suddenly, she was telling me about how she's very sad today because no one was interested in her scarves or her cause. I said, "I'm sorry to hear that," and kept walking, and as we were walking away, she kept going about this. What did she want me to do? Buy a scarf, obviously, but it felt like more than that, that she wanted me to fix everyone so that they'd suddenly be interested in whatever it was she was trying to promote. I felt bad, but I'm afraid I left my magic wand at home.
It's not uncommon for strangers to strike up conversations with me; it happens about once a month, sometimes leading to an interesting conversation, but most often leading me to wonder just what my role is supposed to be in the exchange. I'm fine with being sympathetic, or with giving suggestions, but with a stranger, it's never clear just what the whole interaction is supposed to be.
I'm curious to see if this happens more or less as I age. I get regular comments on my "wholesome" appearance (which entertains me to no end; a post on that some other time, no doubt), but I think I'm in the least wholesome years. When I was younger, I had the fresh-faced thing happening, and when I'm older, I'll be matronly and safe, but right now, I'm just a pretty generic age. Will I be more approachable when I'm older, or will I stand out less because other people start to look safe, too?
Anyway, California is still here, and it's a bit grey. I wouldn't mind seeing some sun, but at least the strawberries are delicious. Man, strawberries. Yum.