Shelley Widhalm

EmBARKing into Conversations

In Coffee shops, Communication secrets, Exercise, Seeking pets on June 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

Eating, exercising and not being shy, all in a healthy way, can be a bit much for one week.

First, I ate fruit salad and lettuce leaf salad and did not eat ice cream or chocolate.

Second, I went to the gym, did aerobics or went on a walk every day, well except for Tuesday.

And third, I talked with someone outside my comfort zone, w-a-y outside of it, though I’m not sure if the conversation actually counts toward breaking my shyness barriers. I’ve seen this man, let’s call him C., around my neighborhood, and my flirty dachshund barked at him as he stood a half-block away.

Zoey was sitting atop a coffee shop patio table while I read a book before I had to go into work for a late shift Wednesday. I said, “I’m sorry. She just wants you to pet her.”

My mini-D wants everyone to pet her.

C put out his cigarette and came over to pet her, but I felt wary, noticing his bedraggled clothing and missing teeth. Wanting to be polite, I asked him about his work (odd jobs), and he told me about getting kicked out of his apartment because of some downtown reconstruction.

“Animals seem to like me,” he said.

I started to feel safe in C’s presence, looking over at Zoey’s expression of ecstasy as he rubbed her ears.

“Dogs are a good judge of character,” he said.

A few months ago, Zoey met another person and would not stop her ferocious barking, seeming to have read something not right in him. And with C, she was seeking his attention.

C asked to have a seat, and I nodded. We talked for five more minutes about where we went to high school, what we do for work and the weather until I had to leave for the office.

I walked away from that experience realizing that I was being a bit judgmental about C’s appearance. But at the same time as a woman, I always have to be wary whenever I’m out in public, day or night. It’s just how it is. Even in a small city.

I guess that’s why it is good to have a dog more aware of the unspoken aspects of communication.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: