We had something in common, she and I. We both sat in the waiting room at the dentist office – me in my dressy casual clothes and she in her fringe coat, cowboy boots and a slouch hat. Having the same dentist and being possibly in the same generation is where the common denominator stopped though, I thought. I commented on the fake quality of the vintage science fiction movie that was playing on the big screen. “Oh, that’s Star Wars”, she said. Embarrassed that I had never watched Star Wars, I said “Oh, it is, isn’t it? The lighting in here is too bright for me to be able to see it”. She could tell I was faking it so she started filling me in on Star Wars trivia. I tried to pretend interest, but she was very perceptive and changed the subject.
Now I'm the type of person who usually brings a book to read while waiting for appointments so that I really won't have to carry on awkward conversations. Henry on the other hand never lets there be a lull in conversations and if there's no-one to talk to, he’ll go find someone. I was beginning to wish Henry was with me - she would have given him a run for his money.
"Have you seen any good movies lately?" she asked as I was trying to tune her out. I told her that we rarely go to movies, but I had been watching some Harry Potter and Pirates of the Carribean with the grandchildren. She didn't have any grandchildren, she said - she had been married briefly once but was divorced. She started telling me all the movies she had been to see recently - most I had never heard of. I was feeling sorry for her not having any grandchildren and I thought maybe she was trying to fight loneliness by going to the movies. At the same time, she was looking at me - like maybe she was feeling sorry for me for not getting out more and thinking that I was stuck home with the grandchildren. We were sizing up each others' feelings without knowing the circumstances. We still hadn't found any common ground but now I was determined to find just one thing that we might have in common other than having the same dentist.
“Do you like to read?”, I asked her. She started naming all her favorite authors and some of the books she had recently read. I guess I had an incredulous look on my face and when I told her those were my favorite authors and I had recently read some of the same books, she also looked surprised. I think we had just about given up on each other. From then on, we had a very animated discussion about books - she's writing one also. The next thing I know the hygenist is calling me back to her office and I'm disappointed that we don't have more time to talk. We exchanged email addresses and blogs and promised to critique each other's writing sometime.
By the way, her name was Glynda with a "y" and I guess we had things in common after all. Sometimes you just have to dig deep to find the common thread that connects humankind. I've decided to stop taking books to the doctor's office. I'm missing out on good conversations, good writing material and connections with all God's children. And as the old saying goes, you can't judge a book by it's cover.
Meaningful Bible verse for today: Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8