One of the more positive qualities I picked up from my dad was the gift of gab. Now, I’d never claim to be able to out-chat this guy
but I would say I’m a regular chip off the ol’ block. I’ll talk to anyone. I’m friendly. I want to know you. And if you don’t threaten me within an inch of my life if I don’t shut up, I will probably try to weasel out your life story.
I make small talk in line at the store, I chitchat at the airport, I pursue a chinwag (yup, look it up) just about anywhere I go. Including while aboard public transportation. And so begins my story…
I take the bus regularly. I avoid driving at all costs, especially when the weather is crazy and gas is half a leg+ one arm/gallon. I rode to school yesterday morning and while perusing through my iPod, I noticed my seat mate was struggling to get his arm out of his jacket. You know that awkward time on the bus when you’re sweating bullets in your parka and you don’t want to disturb the person sitting next to you, since you’re in such close quarters.
Yeah, so picture that. Well, it seemed natural to me to give him a hand. We hadn’t exchanged “hello’s” yet, but I figure this was an opportunity to initiate conversation. I tugged on his jacket for him and his arm was free of its woolen prison. He seemed surprised, but smiled and said thanks. And then we were silent for the rest of the ride…awkward.
After I got off the bus, I started to think about how differently this story could have gone I regaled Frank with my tale last night. He was appalled. He mentioned had it been him in that situation, a smile is definitely not the facial expression I would have received in return.
I was a little stumped. A small act of kindness left me feeling a bit uncomfortable in the end. Was it a little “too much”? I’m still not sure.
Would you have helped the guy with his jacket? What would you have done if you were him?