This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Strange Days

Today was a good day but also weird.

At the pool today, someone started talking to me. This is weird. It's one thing to be at a gym and have a conversation, but in the pool?

And to back up: I am a nervous pool swimmer. I am working back through some unknown trauma of swimming among the masses, so talking to me while attempting to swim is not a good thing for me.

But I have been easing my swim anxiety so I wasn't _that_ troubled by being, um, interrupted, by this person.

But it was still weird:

Stranger-in-the-pool: Hi.
Me (relaxing after a full 25 yard swim, with fins): Um, hi...
Stranger-in-the-pool: My name is Ben.

So I give him my name and he chats more. He asks what department I worked; where he worked, blah blah blah. Fine. I wasn't perturbed although a bit thrown. He mentioned how he had seen me underwater. ?????

He mentioned that he had noticed my artwork so I described what I was getting done (tattoo). He mentioned another girl who had a full back tattoo -- a girl I am aware of -- and I mentioned how I loved her tattoo...and that I like the irony of it all: this beautiful, angelic face of a girl, with a full back tattoo. He agreed then said "and you're beautiful too". Not sure if this was a courtesy "beautiful" comment, since I was admiring another girl for her beauty...or if he meant it. But it was odd.

So finally, we get back to swimming and during another rest break for me, he continues to converse. He adds that he really likes my other tattoo and me, who likes to display my artwork, lifts my leg out of the water to show him my tattoo on my calf. As I'm doing it I am thinking, WTF am I doing?

But you know what he did? While I provide the history of the what, when, why of the tattoo, he puts his goggles on and sinks into the water to look at my leg (which I had put back into the water after I realized what a bold move that probably was, lifting it out)...

WEIRD! And I think I handled it well because, as my friends know (but I haven't yet described in detail here), I am a very paranoid, delusional person. Not only paranoid about strange men who are strangers talking to me, but to talk to me under the duress of attempting to swim. A double-whammy. So kudos to me for not panicking and finishing my workout!

It doesn't end there. I did another thing that is so unlike me.

I was rushing out at the end of the day...excited about a new hair appointment at a new salon. I have been looking forward to this all week, all day. And then, in the elevator (where it all happens for me), the other passenger was providing idle chit-chat with me. He then fishes through his briefcase for his keys (he says this out loud) and then says "ah...I know where they are."

I had to be nice...and I mean that like an OCD person, I *had* to be nice, so I asked if they (the keys) were in there. He said no, that he left his car with Colony Tires, which is a auto place across the street from the campus that we work at.

The elevator continues, no other talk between us...but that awkward walking out of the elevator together, and into the parking lot in the same direction.

Again, this strange OCD person in me speaks without permission from me and asks the stranger-in-the-elevator "Do you have a ride to Colony Tire?" and he replied with no, he was going to walk to it.

And in that split second that I could have said "have a good day then" I said "Want a ride?" As soon as I said it, I was envisioning slapping the OCD person in me while he said "as long as it's not out of your way!"

So I did it. I gave a hitchhiker a ride to Colony Tire. I can't believe it. I stammered throughout the 3 minute drive to there because I was afraid of the uncomfortable silence that could happen during the drive over.

And get this: he introduced himself as soon as he sat in the passenger side of MY CAR. I didn't even frickin' know his name!!! I gave a man a ride that I didn't know!!! Not even his name!!! WTF has happened to me?

I lived to tell the tale. Maybe that's all that counts...and I met two new people?