As I write this, I’m sitting at an outdoor market in Brooklyn. There is free wi-fi and a large section of picnic tables, about half of which are empty…so why did this lady come sit at my table? I understand that it isn’t “my” table and that I am merely taking advantage of something free and cool like everyone else here. But I’m perplexed as to why she failed to do what many of us do each day: avoid social interaction with strangers. She seems young and ablebodied (and sane), so I’m really curious as to why she would bust up my ‘spread all my belongings across the table’ groove and sit here.

This isn’t as bad an infraction on my anti-people person scale as, say, those people on the bus who will bypass available seats to sit directly next to someone. That sh!t is just a crime against humanity. I mean, really. What in the world would make you want to introduce your thighs and the length of your arm to a stranger if you don’t have to? Isn’t riding the bus traumatic enough, between the smells and the lateness (and this is coming from someone who’s taken the bus her entire life, not some Hillary Banks “OMG! Why do I live in the city now?” transplant)? But to have to be seat partners with a stranger when you don’t HAVE to? iDie.

Despite my lack of interest in constantly chatting up strangers (and my complete adversion to having them in my physical space), I guess I have one of those friendly faces, because people ALWAYS talk to me. On the street. In the store. In the doctor’s office. In line for anything where there may be a line. I’m always nice about it and end up talking, though it does suck when I was having happy quiet time to myself. These interactions tend to make me somewhat reflective: what does my reticience to socialize with strangers say about me? Were we created to see other people as things that are in the way of us getting to the milk or putting our bag on the subway seat next to us? Would the Creator be disappointed in me for being disappointed when I find that I’m not the only person using the sauna at the gym? Where is my humanity? I need to be more loving to my fellow man, don’t I?

Okay, whew. The girl left. That was awkward.

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  • secret ninja

    i whole heartedly agree with this whole article!!! i can’t stand to have someone skip a row of empty seats and sit next to me! are you serious? one guy asked it he could sit next to me and i (politely) told him no and continued to pretend he wasn’t there until he walked away. some people…