a good end to a year. in years past we’ve spent new year’s eve at our old church playing games, but this year we just had some friends over. incredible indian food, indian music, and chocolate pie (not sure how that fit in). we’ve begun a new tradition; because the new laws that have passed have only allowed fireworks to be set off in private property a city over (we can buy them, but not set them off) we had to settle for dropping mentos into bottles of diet coke instead. it evoked squeals of delight from the little girls and the biggest smiles in the world from our friend’s two year old son.

next year: no meat. no more feeling obligated to wear makeup if i don’t feel like it because it’s my damn face. and, i have decided, no more withholding compliments, whether for friends or strangers. yesterday while shopping for some reason everyone i ran into was just lovely and kind and wonderful, most especially one girl who was so happy and enthusiastic about everything (did you see this blowdryer i’m buying? isn’t that lace over there beautiful? chatting with me on and on, completely in love with everything) that i began to wonder why i don’t just go ahead and talk to strangers when i feel like there’s a connection to be made. so i went with it and when i loved a stranger’s hair, i told her so. and she didn’t take out an axe and murder me for intruding on the little bubble of isolation that americans seem to wear even when out in public places with other human beings. she smiled and said thank you. and it made me wonder why i have always held back before.

non-rhetorical question, why don’t we allow ourselves to interact with strangers? is it something more unique to this culture, or is it just a humans-in-general thing?

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54 responses to “

  1. Q

    My dad interacts with strangers all the time. I think that it’s probably a combination of lingering stranger-danger, trying not to bother people, and worrying about seeming crazy.

  2. Shaun, as you once called me

    I hope I’m the first one to say this:
    Happy birthday Fé :) And happy new year

  3. I approve of your dad, Q. And I think for me it’s the latter.

    And you even beat my parents to it, and they were in the other room watching the clock for the exact minute, ShawnwhoshouldhaveaUinsteadofaW. Thank you :)

  4. Shaun

    I definitely think I should change that when I turn 18

  5. But by then I’ll have finally mastered spelling it “Shawn” and then I’ll become horribly, horribly confused.

  6. Shaun

    You could just start spelling it “Shaun” now since you already have that spelling mastered. I like that idea it’s a good idea

  7. Congratulating yourself for you own ideas?
    …wow.

    I don’t know. I’m starting to like Shawn. It’s growing on me. I will have to think about this.

  8. Shaun

    Of course! I usually have good ones

    And either one works for me

  9. Right. “What’s twelve plus seven?”

    I will let you know on Wednesday what my final verdict is. And just so you know, my final verdict is subject to change every, hm, ten minutes or so.

  10. Shaun

    You’re really not gonna let me live that down are you?

    That’s fine just let me know before I change it

  11. Of course not, why would I let you live that down? I WAS BETTER AT MATH THAN YOU WERE AND IT WAS BASIC ADDITION.

    Mmkay, so I have, what, a year and a half?

  12. Shaun

    I’m good at complex math! Wow how many times have I heard that excuse….

    Yes. When I leave for the college that I probably won’t get into

  13. The awesome part is that even if that’s true, usually in life you just need to know what twelve plus seven is ;)

    You and me both. Sigh.

  14. Shaun

    I hate it when you’re right.

    I don’t know if I need college to open a bookstore…but I should at least take some business classes next year

  15. “You can’t hate me forever.” There, now you can also hate it when YOU’RE right. (I love how easy it is to use anything you say against you.)

    That would definitely help… so would knowing what twelve plus seven is… (SEE? You will NEVER EVER live it down. I feel like from now on I should greet you with “nineteen” just to prove I am smarter than you.)

  16. Shaun

    Ah but I said that about you. So if you were to use that it would have to come from you meaning I still love it when I’m right :)

    Watch me NEVER have to add twelve and seven together again

  17. Shaun

    Oh and we all know you’re smarter. I admitted it Friday

  18. I actually didn’t understand that. Crap. I think you just won an argument due to making my eyes hurt (although that might have been because it’s dark downstairs and my background for this stupid blog is too white and it’s making my head ache) which means I really need to step up my game.

    “Well, we have twelve copies of 1984 over there… and we have seven more copies coming in…” You’re gonna suck at inventory and I am going to laugh SO hard.

  19. oh, did you admit it? your brother and I were too busy loudly agreeing with each other to notice you.

  20. Shaun

    Even though it made perfect sense I’ll just take this win and run with it since they won’t come often

    Why would we want 19 copies of 1984? No no it needs to be a good even number like 20

  21. I’ll make up for it Wednesday.

    Twenty is a terrible number. 27 would be acceptable but really if we’re going for an IDEAL number it should be 37.

  22. And I know you’re going to disagree with me but my mom is yelling at me to go to bed so I’ll argue (and win the argument) tomorrow.

  23. Shaun

    Watch me win them all on Wednesday.

    There definitely needs to be 37 copies of every, single, last book in stock at all times

  24. Happy Birthday, hermanita. Expect mail.

    social sciences answer, from a materialist standpoint: we come into close contact with so many strangers on a regular basis nowadays that it would be impossible to be sociable with all of them, so our standards for what constitutes sufficient grounds TO be personable with someone changed.

  25. Shaun- uh huh. how big is this bookstore going to be, exactly?

    Holly- thank you, love <3 And of course I was waiting for the anthropology student's response. I never really thought about what my criteria is for when it is okay to talk to a stranger and when I would prefer to just treat them as part of a large crowd.

  26. Shaun

    I don’t really know. Depends on the sizes of available buildings. Unless I’m gonna build it….which wouldn’t be a bad idea

  27. Oh god. You with tools? You’re going to kill yourself.

  28. Shaun

    I don’t know I’m pretty coordinated when I’m dealing with dangerous objects

  29. Shaun, I spend two or three evenings a week watching you shoot. You don’t care enough to be coordinated.

  30. Shaun

    Okay fair enough
    You win this one

  31. I only lost the LAST one because I was tired.

  32. Shaun

    Haha alright. See you Wednesday Fé

  33. Okay, but I’m not talking to you then. See you :)

  34. Shaun

    Oh really? We’ll just see about that. I’ll get you to talk to me for sure

  35. Shaun

    I already know how I’m gonna do it too

  36. Shaun

    You will :) “You can’t hate me forever”

  37. Shaun

    See? I still love it when I’m right :)

  38. Wait, that was talking to you. *deletes her previous comment and then pretends this one didn’t happen* now I am REALLY not talking to you.

  39. Shaun

    Haha okay. I’ve succeeded here and I will too on Wednesday

  40. Shaun

    I definitely hate you now

  41. I have your sunglasses :) And I’m really considering just not giving them back.

  42. okay, I just made a password protected post so we can spam up my blog without annoying everyone else. the password is the name of the person from archery class that my cousin is convinced I’m dating, the first letter not capitalized because he isn’t cool enough for that.

  43. Addy

    Hey whatever happened to your phone? Oh and you should be getting your birthday gifts any day now. :)

  44. I don’t have it right now :P and aww haha thank you.

    oh, and did you see the vlogbrothers are gonna be at changing hands on the 25th?!?!?!?

  45. Addy

    YES MINA AND I ARE GOING. You should come…..>_>. We can “bump into each other”.

  46. Addy

    Oh and just for the record I screamed/sang happy birthday to you at midnight.

  47. I’m pretty sure Taylor and I are going, too. :)

    Haha I love you so much <3 I miss you like hell.

  48. Addy

    Love you too <3 :)

  49. I got your package today. I have never been so thoroughly covered in glitter and while I fully intend to make cream puffs, mostly I’m enjoying just dipping my fingers in nutella. Your red hair is gorgeous, by the way. Tell all the girls I love you like mad. The emo smudging on my name was a nice touch ;) (not gonna lie, I might’ve cried a little.)

  50. Addy

    Im glad you liked it :) Thank you, I love my red hair too! I will tell all the girls, Tris,Tay,Mina and I will all be at the library on the 25th so hopefully we’ll see you. <3 We all miss so freaking much. Love you forever darling <3

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