Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Personal Calling cards

Just finished being inspired by a recent blog entry over at Hobo Mama. Her idea was to basically create a personal card, like a business card, to hand out to people that you would like to get to know further.

So here is mine:


and the back is just lines so I can write something a bit specific (if I want):


Now to buy some ink for my printer…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It is okay to talk to strangers

Today I walked up to and absolute stranger and gave her my phone number and email address. I saw her pushing a shopping trolley around Aldi. One child in the trolley and a newborn in a carrier. We exchanged a smile and a couple of sentences as our shopping trolleys crossed paths a couple of times then we went our separate ways. She looked like the type of person that I could be friends with, but she was a stranger so I would never know.

As I put my groceries in the car I could not stop thinking about this absolute stranger. She seemed a lot like me, she looked my age, she wore clothes like mine She had children, including one in a baby carrier, just like me. I wished that I could have a chance to meet her. Who knows, maybe she was friendship material. As I put my own baby in the car seat I had a look around the car park wondering if I could spot her. Not really sure what I would do if I did as chasing a mum down in the car park seemed really odd.

If I am sounding a little weird at the moment it is because I was considering doing something that we have been taught not to do. I was wanting to go talk to a stranger and strike up a conversation.  I felt exactly like I was a guy trying to work up the nerve to introduce myself to some chick. I may seem like a girl who likes to challenge society’s norms, but generally if you saw me down the street I would look like a normal mum. I do not tend to do outrageous things. 

This is not the first time I have wanted to get to know an absolute stranger better. A similar thing happened yesterday in Lowes. A pregnant shop assistant approached me to ask about my Ring Sling. We had a good conversation about carrier types. I would have loved to give her my phone number and offer to give her a carrier demo. But it felt like an odd thing to do, so instead I left the shop.

Making friends can be hard. I see people that I think could be good friends, but am too embarrassed to do anything about it. I am unsure of the exact social taboos but I am pretty sure cornering a stranger and saying "let's be friends" is weird. I recall another time that I had stopped for a quick lunch while shopping. A trio of women sat chatting at the table right beside me. I overheard snippets of conversation and picked up on how well they interacted. I wanted  to introduce myself but, again, it felt odd. This is not how we do things in our society.

Still sitting in the car I was determined to be prepared should this happen again. I wanted to be able to confidently introduce myself to a person should I choose.  I found a pen and a stash of 'Karri Tree Lane' business cards (I give these to people who stop to ask about my carriers) and wrote my name, email and mobile on the back.

To end my story I drove to the bakery and then I drove to the butcher. As I left the butcher I saw the Aldi mum parked right in front. She was breastfeeding her newborn in the car. I hesitated at first but then I worked up the courage to give her one of my new cards.  "I feel really silly doing this" I began. I told her I was new in town, and it turned out she was too. She was nice and said she appreciated me saying something.

Will she call me? I hope so but I won't feel rejected if she does not. I spent the afternoon feeling so impressed with myself for putting myself out there. I am going to build a little social network not hide at home alone, even if I have to challenge a few social norms to do it.