Interactions with Strangers

Sometimes, on the days when I decide I don’t like people, (hey, even your friendly neighborhood optimist gets grumpy sometimes) it is important to remember that interacting with random human beings can be the best.

Though generally fleeting and impossible to orchestrate or anticipate, some of the most magical moments happen when two people who don’t know each other share a genuine moment of positive interaction.

Or at least hilarious misunderstanding.

I’ll admit I’ve always had a love for the wrong number text posts, usually showing a hapless man pursuing romantic intentions with a new contact only to learn he was given the “wrong number, bro.”  They make me laugh and I’m always impressed by the creativity and dedication to a joke. There’s more than one website dedicated entirely to this very phenomenon.

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I did mistype my number in a guy’s phone once. (Fat fingers, late night, dark bar, I blame them all.) This helped me achieve a solid week of cool girl status in his eyes before the misunderstanding was cleared up. Playing accidentally hard-to-get led to a pretty funny story and a couple month long relationship though.

But I’ve never texted a wrong number or been accidentally wrong-number texted, my dreams of hilarious-random-person-text unfulfilled, until the other week. And it went a little something like this…

– – – – –

It was a glorious, warm sunny Saturday in June, that first real summer day where the skies are blue, the thermometer hovers right in those high 70’s, a mellow breeze keeps you feeling temperate and you have a driving need to be out enjoying the world in your oh-so-missed sundresses.

My afternoon adventures took me to a local bar for a craw fish boil (not important to the plot-line but how cool and sporadic is that?!) to meet up with friends of both the close and extended variety.

My friend Maria and I decided in this beautiful setting to take our relationship up a notch, really elevate our commitment to our friendship by exchanging numbers. We’d been FB friends for years and were both flabbergasted that we hadn’t done the phone exchange yet.

I gave her my phone, let her input her info, then shot her the quick “This is me” text.

Her phone didn’t buzz or whistle or flash or dance or do any other general signs indicative of receiving a text and I gave it no real thought until I got a confusing response. The whole exchange went a bit like this:

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I mean, what a great little positive interaction with some random human, right? Now in the movie version of this story, it is a straight up meet-cute or it would be someone randomly from my childhood or lead to my dream job or some sort of further hilarity would ensue or something. In real life, that is the whole kit and caboodle, the entirety of the tale beyond getting the correct phone number and giving Maria a hard time.

Was that a particularly exciting story? Nope. Was I clever enough to send a funny picture of some actor making a goofy face or a strange looking animal? Nope. But it did put a smile on my face and some warmth in my heart all the same.

– – – – –

In a world with tragedy and hatred and pain dominating our feeds and news and minds, it is vital to remember uplifting silliness such as this. It is important to remember that if you plucked a random stranger out of the crowd, they would most likely not be driving by blind hatred. It is most likely that they would be capable of love and kindness and willing to kindly tell you “Wrong Number, Bro” but in a super nice way.

Believe in the general kindness and goodness of others. Believe it or lose yourself to the anger and close-minded ideals that lead to tragedies. Believe it because you want to, believe it because you have to in order to keep going on a daily basis, or believe it because I told you so and I’m smart.

Just take this light and fluffy story and have a little faith in the world and humanity today.

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(And remember to be nice to that next wrong number text you get to, will ya?)

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