“I look for something that is highly unusual, involving ordinary people caught in extraordinary situations.” -Walter Lord
So my extraordinary situation is that I am a college student. There’s only a certain portion of folks that are currently a college student. There are ordinary people all around me that are studying to get their degrees and partying on the weekends.
That leaves the highly unusual part.
Before I get to that, hopefully you can get a grasp of my mental state today. I had two exams in two consecutive days, with an essay sandwiched in the middle.
I only had four hours of sleep and was in no mood to talk to anyone.
I bet you’ve had a day like that whether it’s been a tough day at work, school, or even the aftereffects of a party.
So I decided to compromise. I was determined to make a couple of people smile today and share positive energy.
I walked to the bus stop. While waiting there, I saw a girl that I’ve wanted to talk to a few times but didn’t have the chance. (Or I did but realized the chance too late.)
So I said, “Hey, so what’s going on with that yellow phone cover?” She said, “Yeah it’s yellow.” But I saw the smile. There it was. Then I asked her about her day. She had to take an exam. She told me her major as well. I said, “Oh by the way, I’m Matt.” She said her name. All was going well.
Then the bus came and I did the exact same error that I did back on Day 25. I walked into the bus first. When you meet someone new like that, you usually have to ask them permission to sit next to them.
I’ve been told that small talk at the bus stop does not imply sitting next to one another on the actual bus. Well, it slipped my mind.
That’s alright though because I made her smile.
I went through my exam and other class. Then I headed home.
After walking out of the bus, another person was walking next to me. It took me a few seconds but I decided to say, “How’s it going?”
She smiled back and said, “good.”
I fulfilled my goal and she asked what apartment complex I lived at and I said it was the one on the other side of the street. Then I made a joke saying that, “Well there’s this girl to my left that would be cool to say Hi to, so I did.” She laughed. Then she went to her complex and we both said bye.
At this point you’re asking, “But why didn’t you get her contact info or talk to her further?”
It deserves its own post but it comes down to intrinsic motivation. I’ll write more about this in the next post.
So why did I name the post the way I did?
A yellow phone cover:
-is an example of something that pops out.
-makes it easy to start a conversation.
-creates an external object to joke about.
-is unusual enough for me to see the person as interesting.
A great tip I learned is to wear or have something unique, original, or quirky on you so that people have a reason to talk to you!
It makes it less strange to ask about something that stands out.
So, I got a couple of failed rejections and made people smile. It also gave me an idea for a future day. Stay tuned for that.