I had a nice encounter on the train this morning and it got me thinking. We see the same woman every morning, she gets on a stop or 2 after we do. She is very lovely, always impecably dressed. I always check out to see what she is wearing because I know she will look amazing. We've never spoken, but I get a kick out of looking at her beautiful clothes and seeing how she accessorizes every day. David didn't have to go to work today so I rode in alone and this woman sat next to me. We rode in silence just about the whole way until we were in the tunnel on the final approach to Penn Station. I was getting my bag and packback ready and she asked if I wanted to get up (I was against the window, she was on the aisle). I said no, that I would wait. (Background: David and I usually get up and go to the door a bit early because he has to catch another train to New Jersey from Penn Station and sometimes we run late.) We started to chat a bit and I told her that the dress she wore yesterday was fabulous (which it was!). She thanked me and told me that she watches David and I every morning, and that she is a bit jealous of "what you have - I want that". She said that she sees the way he looks at me and how much love is there and she thinks it is so wonderful. I got a little ferklempt. It was really sweet. I told her that I always check out her wardrobe and I admire her style. She looks sort of like a shorter Iman (wife of David Bowie, incredible fashion model). She told me she works for Donna Karan and we chatted a little about fashion, body image and getting fit.
It was a lovely conversation and it made both of us smile as we left the train.
It also made me think that encounters like this are becoming more rare, as we spend so much time with our heads buried in various electronic devices or plugged into them so we cannot hear what is around us. I love talking to strangers. I've made so many friends that way. But it is harder to make friends when everyone is in their own little world. There is less eye contact, less casual conversation and less friendliness in general. That makes me sad.
Unplug. Leave the iPod in your pocket for a while. Take off the headphones. Don't check the Blackberry every minute.
Connect with people. Look up and smile.
Now you can't hear me,
your ears are truly sealed.
You can't speak either,
your mouth is filled.
You can't see nothing,
and pinball completes the scene.
Here comes Uncle Ernie to guide you to
Your very own machine.