I’m one of those people who likes to make small talk with the people around me in stores and other public places from time-to-time. What can I say? I’m a friendly gal living in a friendly place. People like to say hi to total strangers and wave at folks who take walks in the neighborhood.
Years ago in the days when the internet barely existed and no one had ever heard of a blog, I used to be quite the opposite. I was much more of an observer, and I would keep to myself. I was still friendly, but I would rarely initiate a conversation with a stranger. And yet, this happened:
It was near the first of the year, and I was in need of a hearty meal so I decided to go to KFC down the street for some fried chicken and mashed potatoes. I get up to the register to order and I am greeted by a kid named Ronnie. “We’come to KFC. Can I take yo oar-dah?” I tell him what I want and move on.
As I’m waiting for my chicken, young, high-school-aged Ronnie decides that this is a good time to get chatty. He asks me about how my New Year’s Eve was. I tell him it was OK, but I had to work. “Oh, really? Where you work?” (I left out “do” on purpose.) Like an idiot, I tell him. “Coo. Das Coo. Sounds like a coo place to work.” Ugh. Then he proceeds to tell me about his “Pawty with sum frenz.” Dandy. Being a polite girl, I just nod and smile. He keeps talking about this, that, and the other. Lovely. I figure that must appear super-cute (and much younger) in my winter hat and big coat because it seems that freckle-faced Ronnie is attempting to woo me with his stories of debauchery and his uber-cool social life.
I finally get my food and head back home. End of story, right?
A few weeks later, I am at my apartment by myself and there is a knock at the door. I go to answer it but stop to take 2 seconds to look in the peep hole. I can’t believe my eyes! I have to take a few more seconds to look in the peep hole again to be sure that I am not mistaken. I kid you not, Ronnie from KFC! is at my apartment! knocking on my door! I completely freeze. I am freaked out and can barely breathe. He knocks again. All I can think to do is run to the balcony and shut the curtains.
This is a city with 90,000 people in it! How the heck did Ronnie from KFC find me?! And why the heck is Ronnie from KFC knocking on my door?!
I never figured out the real answer to either of these questions because I refused to open the door that day. The only thing I can figure is that my now-hubby and I used to work at the same place back then. And he sometimes drove an extremely well-marked company car home when he was on call and would park it in our reserved space… a space that was marked with our apartment number. Perhaps one of Ronnie’s friends or Ronnie himself stumbled upon it and put two and two together.
Looking back at this now, Ronnie was pretty dang ballsy to knock on my door… either that or this was a big, freaky coincidence. Regardless, it scared the crap out of me!