Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Would You Do? - ABC News - Aiding the Fallen

I've experienced this many many times in my life, sometimes it's me who fell, sometimes it's others.

Some of my most memorable experiences are on the baltimore buses where customers fall all the time. I've caught a couple of them before they hit the ground and a couple of times people fell ontop of me on the bus.

But there was one times where a very large man fell and was lying in the middle of the aisle of the #8 bus york road going north. I couldn't lift him and I alerted the driver. None of the other customers would look at him or speak to him nobody seemed to care that he was lying there not even the driver.

In this video, I'm so touched by this Linda woman. Love this show.

"Rare, rare events in the Baltimore region"

You've certainly listened to me rant on topics such as these in the past. If I compare the # of times I've been in a cafe per year to the # of times that a stranger seemed interested in connecting or speaking with me, it would come to oh, 1 out of every 30 or 50 times there might be someone whose eyes are not 100% glued to their electronic appendage!

Yesterday I was at one of the cafes where the tables are 2 to 3 inches apart from each other. Remarkably, for the most part that does NOT make it more likely that someone would make eye contact with a person at a neighboring table. In many but not all cases if I'm alone that I'm extremely open to making a new acquaintance. But I note if they are with their device and don't want to connect then I most certainly respect that.

I assume that people who don't make eye contact don't want to speak to anyone-but maybe I'm wrong about that. They guy that was spaced just a few inches away from me never looked up from his Blackberry 'cept to return my smile when I sat down.

The carols were loud and oppressive and the speaker was right above my head. I needed a break from all the driving I'm forced to do especially now that I'm in Carroll County.

AFter I had been sitting for about 30 minutes I said "oh no" Some particularly painful song came on (similar to the Chipmunks singing Christmas Carols) and I responded out loud to that. They guy next to me laughed and said "It's really bad" He said it with an Israeli accent. It turned out that he is one of the few who despite the Blackberry addiction he loves to talk with new people.

He asked surprisingly intimate questions given that I am a stranger. I told him about having been homeless and he replied "See that guy right there?" "Yes, I said" He said "He's homeless

I studied the guys face and realized that he's the guy whose blog I read occasionally. I went over and introduced myself to him and he said "I was reading your blog earlier today!"

There's a definite upside to technology. That you can meet someone first online and then find out that your fan is sitting just a few seats down from you is incredibly neato...............................

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Chance encounter at the coffeeshop"

Last September I was speaking with a woman in a cafe who is an occupational therapist. She was on her way to meet a patient who is also seeking a companion. I told her I might be interested.

She took me to meet "Wanda" 62. Wanda was friendly and is the adoptive mother of 3 babies from India.

I tried to reach her to arrange a get together and it just never happened, I couldn't get through. I tried one more time yesterday.

She said she also did not grow up in Carroll County. She grew up in the same suburban neighborhood as my birthmother. They went to the same high school, and are about the same age. I said, I doubt you know her, but her name is unusual and this is her name. Wanda repled: " I grew up 2 doors down and played with her throughhout my childhood!"

Wanda told me all sorts of things I didn't know. (I know nothing of birthmother's childhood or her siblings or my grandparents) She even gave me my grandfather's name which I didn't previously know. She said that many of my family members struggled with serious illnesses, in and out of hospitals. She said my grandmother was quite remiss in her parenting skills and let the girls run wild.

She told me all sorts of crazy stories which I can't post here, but I was thrilled to learn about. I don't even so much as have any photos of my birthmother's childhood.  Non adoptees takes their heritage information for granted but for me it's a gift to know even a little about my grandmother's personality-I only got to meet her once during reunion in 89.

Grandmother's first and only gift for me was a red tennis shoe keychain stuffed with a 5 dollar bill.  I thought it was precious! I never saw her again, but I sure wish I did, as she passed a few years ago.

Wanda said that when people would call my grandmother's house, she would pick up the phone and say: "Ring ring, ring ring!" Every time! Sounds a bit quirky, I can't think of a SOUL who inherited that trait!