What is it about strangers?

I’ve been thinking a lot about people lately. No, too broad. I’ve been thinking a lot about strangers recently. Yes, strangers. There’s something about a random interaction with a stranger that can sometimes light up my day.

Take the lady at the Dry Cleaners last week. I was cracking up at the fact that she was in a down coat, and a summer dress. I was jealous of the down coat because I left any sort of cardigan of mine at home… and was left in a sundress.

Or, my the woman who cuts my hair. I ADORE her. I see her once, maybe twice a year. But it feels like we’re old pals.

The person who owns the cafe near my work, the guy who smiled at William and that made me smile, the person I’m in line with at Starbucks.

What is it about strangers?

I think it’s about the human experience — the chance to get outside of our monkeysphere for a moment.

I keep telling myself I want to keep better track of my relationships — work acquaintances, people I meet for coffee, my closest pals and making sure I reach out on their birthdays, etc.

I met a woman last year who had been in her role at a corporation for two decades and was interested in the nonprofit sector and changing direction. I remember having a fun conversation with her, and that we exchanged brief emails after the meeting, but I hadn’t thought anything of it.

And then I had an email in my inbox from her yesterday. Just a “hey, we met a year ago, I wanted to let you know what I’m doing, yadda yadda.” I thought, oh my GOSH, I am missing out on opportunities like this one. I should be looping back with most people I meet. Or at least keeping track.

By memory? An address book? Facebook? An excel spreadsheet?

How do YOU do it?

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