I live alone and sometimes it seems that I am losing social contact. However, I can take stock of acquaintances and remarkable conversations I am able to engage in, if I take the time to both engage here and there in the first place, and, in the second, make note of them. We must stop and count our blessings, so to speak. I can cite a few examples of unexpected yet very pleasant exchanges I've enjoyed recently. Reflecting back, they were little gems of social life,
Today, for example, I had conversations in the course of returning a bag of can to the recycling depot and going back home via the neighbourhood park. Being a patron of the depot over 2.5 years, I am familiar with the workers there. I was greeted warmly by a lady who listened as I explained why had so many soda and beer cans this time, which I wouldn't normally possess to turn in. I told her I had collected a lot after wind storm had blown them off porches. On the way home, I encountered a young neighbour and his dog. Though I don't see that boy much, the dog remembered me. I used to play in our apartment building lot soon after the family first got him. It is a delightful memory: the puppy playing hide and seek behind the vehicles parked in the lot. He greets me whenever a family member is taking him for a walk. Since we were in the park and the dog had the freedom to play there, he made a beeline for me as soon as he saw me and began barking and running in circles around me, evidently taunting me to chase him. I did for a while. I explained to the boy that the dog, a charming Corgi named Ibu, likely remembered our times playing hide-and-seek. He would not even fetch the ball for the boy, only for me! So marvelous that the memory of our play is so strong.
Here is an account of another chance incident. I am advertising a few extraneous items to sell so as to clear out unused things in my place. I had an immediate response to my ad for an old sewing machine. Someone came to pick up the machine on Friday morning. It turned out to be a retired mechanic who enjoys collecting and repairing old machines. It was good to know this sewing machine would have a future. It belonged to my grandmother. She, my mom and I had sewing in common, one of the few commonalities among us. There are many memories attached to her old machine, which is why I had kept it even though I had not machine-sewed for years.
I told this story to an online games partner. We occasionally chat during games.
I am friendly with some of my fellow occupants of this small apartment building. I had not chatted with my best two friends among them for several weeks until I finally caught up with Betty, a retiree who lives above my suite. After that brief and typical exchange, I visited her to offer some surplus fruit and vegetables. She in turn invited me to lunch last week since she had a two-for-one coupon. That was the first time we had gone anywhere together, though she has invited me to join her lawn bowling group.
These are just a few of the examples of unexpected yet meaningful conversations I wind up having in the course of my daily life. If I think I am getting too isolated, I can think back to them and find new occasions. The mistake would be to become withdrawn and uncommunicative in my single life.