Friday, September 17, 2010

Stop Making Sense

Today I had a five minute conversation without understanding a single word the other person was saying.

I was in a Food Emporium for lunch when a middle aged woman sat by my side. She smiled, and since she seemed harmless enough, I naturally smiled back.

Then she spoke in gibberish. I slowly leaned forward.

"Excuse me?" I said, and she continued her slurred words, now using hand gestures to emphasize her sounds.

"Oh," I said. "I'm sorry."

She spoke with confidence, pausing between the occasional sentence, allowing me to respond just like any other normal conversation would work.

"Hm," I said, and I wondered if she was using a foreign language, and if so why she would continue speaking when I clearly could not understand her.

"Okay," I said, and I wondered if she was crazy, a reasonable enough assumption. But if she was, she was still very calm and well mannered, like a friendly old lady talking about her cats. So I looked from side to side, put my elbows on the table, and let her continue, nodding my head and occasionally adding an encouraging sigh.

Now I wasn't making fun of this woman. Really, I wasn't. I just believed she had something important to say, and I wanted to give her the chance to express it, whatever it was. So I did, well worth it, and five minutes later she smiled and walked away.

I had a salad for lunch. It was very bland. In fact, the whole day would have been very bland if it wasn't for this woman.

So thanks.


  1. I'm glad to hear you're eating healthy. I ate in the very same Food Emporium and had the fried chicken.

  2. As an individual usually in this woman's position, thanks for listening... It's people like you, with the ability to listen, that give us the courage to keep speaking.