Thursday, March 11, 2010

Light-Eyed Confessions

I was in the checkout line at the store yesterday.  The clerk said, "How are you?"  I said, "Great.  How are you?"  She said, "I lost my son in November."  Uhhhhhh.

This may seem like an oddly intimate interaction to have with a stranger, but it happens to me more times than I can count.  When I was a flight attendant, another blue-eyed flight attendant asked me, "Do random strangers tell you the most inappropriately personal things?!"  I agreed that, indeed, they did!  She said that people feel like opening up to light-eyed people more than others.  I don't know what kind of research she had to support her claims, but my personal experience certainly holds her hypothesis to be true.  Just ask anyone with whom I used to hang out during my flight attending days - I came home with the most tragic stories that humanity could conceive.  It came to the point where our friends started our get-togethers with, "Ali!  No sad stories!" (Cheryl, Cressinda, Rion, Mikey, Shawn - back me up here.)

But, as awkward and uncomfortable as this could potentially be, it's taught me a good lesson about human nature.  People just want someone to listen.  So, when the voice inside my head is screaming, "NO! NO! NO! NO!  Run away!  Uncomfortable situation!" I just say, "I am so sorry," and look them in the eye (the very eye that got me in this spot to begin with...).  They always take it from there and tell me as much or as little as they want to.  "How are you/Are you doing okay?" and "I'll be thinking about you/Take care of yourself," always seem to be appropriate, too.  They're not looking to me, a complete stranger, for answers, they're just looking to unload a little bit of the grief they're bearing.  That's ok.  I can listen.  I won't start walking around with my eyes closed... just yet.


cmjj said...

That's great, Ali. To connect this to your last post, that's exactly what Jesus did :)

Ali said...

ahhh. that's really nice, marcy. thanks.

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails