My reply, “I’ll share their age if you’ll share yours.”
[Insert big robust laughter here]
This happened at my local postal service office yesterday.
How many times have I been asked about my dogs’ age? And why do people choose to inquire about a dog’s age to enter into conversation?
Well, it’s one way to connect with another person. It’s a pretty safe topic, one that anyone with a pooch can generally answer as well, therefore opening up a conversation (first move).
And it was a complete surprise when I offered to tell the asker of the question, if they divulged their age first.
- Unexpected? Very.
- Fun opener? Most definitely.
- Not good for everyone? Maybe.
Yet connectors who are being themselves can respond (as they will anyway) as they wish, in good humor.
My goal in my reply was to see what that person would say.
I didn’t care two shakes about her age and I wasn’t being disrespectful; I wanted to see what she’d say.
She totally dug it, replying, “eighty-five!” with enthusiasm. I shared the dogs’ ages (9+, 1+) and then mine, since I was happily playing along. Then, the other person waiting in line as well, jumped in too. Pretty soon we were all laughing and carrying on, sharing a new encounter together, that everyone present was getting a kick out of. Including Sharon, My Fine USPS counter pro.
To examine what happened, here’s how I’d map it out the connectivity that happened.
- First Move: the other person inquired about my dogs’ age; I responded.
- Y In The Road: She decided that she was cool with replying, and did so. And then kept the conversation building.
- Choose Your Path: She left before me and as I was walking out the door and down the sidewalk toward home, a car honked at me – it was her! Waving and smiling as she drove away. I waved back, grinning.
The experience made me smile all the way home and I shared it with My Fine Husband as well that night.
Connectivity can and does happen anywhere you let it happen.
I’ll keep you posted, so to speak, on the next time I see her. Can’t wait…
BONUS: Here’s a fun tribute sung by Nellie McKay, courtesy of TED