Today I weeded the garden, which was in a woeful state. Well I weeded everything except for a patch that my good friend had stretched herself out in. It took a couple of hours and I was covered in sweat and dirt when the task was done.
After cleaning up I walked all over the city, mostly looking for subjects to photograph for a new style column I’m gearing up for with RVANews. To date, the people I have approached for this have all seemed very flattered and enthusiastic about having their pictures taken, but for some reason I still have difficulty approaching strangers for it. This may be because I hate being approached by strangers myself. As I walked all over the city, I thought about how silly it was for me to think that way, because if all it takes to make someone feel great and add an unexpected compliment to their day is for me to take a quick photo, I should be falling all over myself to do it. But still I had trouble because (1) most people are wearing t-shirts and flip-flops, which I do NOT want to feature, and (2) some people look incredibly busy — talking on the phone, ordering food, etc. And I hate to interrupt.
As I was pondering all these things after a three-hour walk and nearing my house, feeling defeated, I was the one who was approached. This lady that I frequently see walking her dog (whose color changes almost weekly: green, purple, pink…I guess she dyes the poor beast) strolled up and said “Hello, I love the way you wear your bows. Your hair is great, you have beautiful hair.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I actually have a shop where I sell the bows; you should check it out” and I handed her a card.
She looked down at the card and said “I don’t have a computer. I actually get a really bad aura from computers. I’m a preschool teacher, and I try not to turn them on. ”
There was an uncomfortable silence, as I didn’t know what to say. While I wouldn’t want to reward someone for being afraid of technology — especially as simple and easy to espouse as it’s been made in recent years — I also think that people should be allowed to live however the heck they choose as long as they’re not hurting anybody else. So I didn’t say anything.
She squinted at me and said “You have this smoky aura about you. It’s very mystic. There’s something very mysterious…”
Another long silence…I wasn’t really sure how to respond. I had been wondering what that smoky smell was for the past several blocks, and had assumed it was something burning. But I didn’t want to burst her bubble. So then I said “Thank you. Well I recognize your dog, so I’ll sure we’ll run into each other again soon when you’re walking him. We must be neighbors.”
“Or even sisters!” she said. And then we parted ways. Oooooookay. What a disturbing / bizarre / delightful conversation. Sisters indeed. And yet, we are kind of sisters. Human beings, and ladies walking around Richmond talking to strangers.
Never a dull moment here in Richmond…and especially in Oregon Hill. ❤
And btw, it’s Formal Friday.