I talk to strangers. A lot.
Thanks to that trait, I've closed a bar with a Russian history professor (as in from Russia), explored the Muhammad Ali Museum with a former Pittsburgh Steeler, experienced homemade Czechoslovakian food in Omaha, and danced the night away outside the Seelbach Hotel at Louisville's Fourth Street Live.
The older I get, the more adventurous I get.
Just two short weeks ago, I packed a bikini, sunscreen, my fountain pen, and a few steno pads and headed down to Destin, FL, for "Operation Girls Gone Writing." Carol and Heidi went with me. We met in person once. Two years ago. For just a few short hours in Indianapolis, IN, when I was there for an economics conference. The rest of the time has been spent "meeting" via e-mail and conference calls, as I've worked with and for both of them on numerous writing projects over the past three years.
Imagine if I hadn't talked to these strangers?
We wouldn't have lounged by the pool and talked about all those things women talk about: food, sex, and diets. We wouldn't have seen dolphins in the bay. We'd have missed the piano bar, the too-friendly old guy, and the taste of rum. We never would have known the sands of Destin, still free from oil at that point, and learned that swimming in algae is something like swimming in hair.
Who would have bought too much candy, too many presents for our boys back home, and too much rum?
I have a blog in the works to sum up the weekend. I'm still pondering what to say exactly, but it's on its way.
All I know is that I'm glad I talked to these strangers and can't wait to do it again.