So, what is the most spontaneous thing you have done lately?
Lately I have been deciding that I need to spend more time doing things to relax. I Started getting a severe eye twitch several days ago and as of yet I have not been able to alleviate it. I got some good advice from a dear friend yesterday, but it's one of those things that takes a little time I think. Well, part of my road to achieve personal rehabilitation is actually taking a lunch when I am at work. So often I get lunch either on the run or bring it back to the office and eat it there. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I actually went out to lunch yesterday and sat down to eat. It was a late lunch, so everything was pretty well empty. It was perfect for me. I was so relaxed after having done it that I decided to do it again today.
i went to the same place to eat lunch an ordered something new. I've never had it before, but it was tasty. While I waited for it to be ready I stood around inside the restaurant waiting for one of the five tables to open up.
At one, the manager was performing an interview. At another, two women were sipping on empty sodas and staring at empty plates while chatting about some guy at work who kept hitting on both of them. They were both complaining, but neither one looked very upset about it. The table in the corner was taken up by two guys and a laptop. The table closest to the door was taken up by two people who looked as though they had shared a lunch that was long gone. They sat there across the table from one another just randomly chatting. It was obvious that they worked together. The boy was Hispanic, the woman was Asian. Both looked like painfully shy people.
I couldn't believe that there were three tables in a restaurant with only five tables that had people sitting at them not eating or drinking. I decided I would do or say something about it if my food came up and there were still no tables for me to sit at. It was far too cold for me to sit outside.
Sure enough, as I stood there, my food came up and there was still no table available. As I had told myself I would do, I did something about it. I marched straight up to the Hispanic and Asian young coworkers sitting at the table discussing work. When I opened my mouth both of them stared up at me slack-jawed. Actually, it was quite funny.
"Pardon me, but there are no tables left. I was wondering if you would allow a stranger to join you at your table. I would be glad to go outside to sit and eat, but as you can see I don't have a jacket with me and it's way too cold out there. There are no tables available for me to sit at home and as I see you have to spare chairs, I was hoping you wouldn't mind giving up a little tables space to go with it."
I was as ladylike as could be. They both looked up at me and smiled. It was a confused smile, rather than a genuine smile. They were both very shy people, I can easily tell. They weren't sure what all I was expecting them. Suddenly I thought to myself that I had hoped that I wasn't interrupting a date. Oops.
But I have noticed that they had been sitting across the table from one another. They were avoiding any kind of intimacy. They also avoided eye contact mostly. Both consented and since I was tired of standing, I sat down.
I really don't know what to make. I've always been a bit of a shy person myself. I didnt think that was something that I would ever do. But, much to my own surprise, not only did I sit down, but I started an entire conversation with two complete strangers. It was one of the best spontaneous moments I can remember for quite a while.
It turns out that they were both web designers. Both very sweet people, they work close to the restaurant. The remote for lunch, and they would often sit there for as long as possible in order to avoid having to go back to the office. The Asian lady was from Thailand. And reviews that she had moved to Canada. She decided she did not like Canada, so she left the rest of her family there and move down to Los Angeles 15 years ago. She's been down here ever cents, and loves it. She calls Los Angeles her home. The boy has grown up in Los Angeles his entire life. He's very sweet kid, but he complains it is never left the town. I explained to him how lucky he actually was to have always grown up in the same place. I gave him the example of growing up all over the world, but never keeping friends for longer than four years. He admitted that he was grateful to have his family and friends around him.
All I really wanted was a place to sit for lunch. Instead, I ended up with a place to sit for lunch, people to have a conversation with, more people interested in my jewelry, and to new acquaintances that I may occasionally see at lunchtime.
It's amazing how far question smile can go. I know in some areas, some people would look at me like I had sprouted an extra head if I had done that. But these people were very sweet and kind. They were very genuine, though surprised. They did not expect anything out of me and I did not expect anything out of them. Honestly, I really wasn't even expecting them to stick around to keep me company while I eat alone. The fact that they did was just a bonus.
I have often asked where the class and society of the old days has gone. I've wondered about the camaraderie. I have asked where the friendship has gone. I brought up the fact in the past that people don't speak to one another anymore. Strangers nearly knock each other over, and it's all you can do to get an apology from them. Well, if you want the world to change, you have to be that change.
I did something today that I wished others would do. I introduced myself to strangers for no apparent reason. I sat down and had a very lovely lunch with people I never met before. I did it all as a very shy person. But I grew the courage and I did what I thought needed to be done. I became what I wished society could be.
When the two of them left to head back to their office, I told them that I wished to thank them for spending their lunch hour with a complete stranger. I told them that there were several people standing around in that moment looking for a table. I told them that I hoped someone would talk to me just as I had talked to them. And then I told them that I would always have a table for them.
"Perhaps someone will ask to sit with me," I said. They both smiled. Then they nodded and walked away.
The place was Noah's Bagels on Rosecrans Blvd. in Manhattan Beach. And as I spoke to the strangers and sat down, the manager and others waiting for tables stood smiling at me. There was a sense of appreciation in the air after that.
So try it out sometime. Be the change you wish could happen. It has to start somewhere. And that was a LOT of fun.