Happy Happenstance at King Street Metro

Have you ever been to the George Washington Masonic Memorial? You can get a tour that takes you to the top and from the observation deck you can practically see Europe. Great views. Heck of a building, too, and great displays. Definitely go check it out sometime.

I was just there last week for a meeting and afterward, as I made my way along the platform at the King Street Metro stop, I noticed a gentleman smiling at me as he walked toward me. I returned the friendly gesture, figuring perhaps I just didn’t recognize him – perhaps an old friend or a business acquaintance?

Anyway, as we walked toward each other he started talking about how nice my tie was, asking where I got it and going on about the quality and design.

“My wife got it for me,” I explained. “You can’t trust me with matters of fashion.” The man laughed and went on his way, but not before marveling again at how nice it was.

I find it quite refreshing to be somewhere people would stop someone for a brief conversation and to share such warmth. The last time I had that happen was when I visited my brother back home in Raleigh last year.

When was the last time you slowed down to talk with someone for a few minutes, just to exchange pleasantries? It seems like it’s about time to do it again, don’t you think? More civility, less rudeness – that’s what this area needs.

Photo: George Washington Masonic Memorial Originally uploaded by carlweaver

4 Comments so far

  1. Julia Frey (lajulia) on April 2nd, 2008 @ 11:39 am

    I actually do this all the time. If I see someone wearing something nice I will stop and compliment them. Or I’ll chat up cashiers or other people in line in a store if there is something interesting to comment on. I’m usually amazed that people are almost taken aback that I’ve said something and now I do it 90% for the sincerity of the compliment or chat and 10% just to see what kind of reaction I get.

    Pay that compliment and nice conversation forward, Carl!

  2. Carl Weaver (carlweaver) on April 2nd, 2008 @ 11:50 am

    Thanks, Julia! I used to do this all the time until I spent eight years in upstate NY and central MA, where people are rather cold and I was surrounded by crackheads and hustlers and it was better to keep to myself.

    I do this type of thing more now that I am at least bordering the South, where it’s acceptable. It’s good to know that others are doing it too.

  3. Julia Frey (lajulia) on April 3rd, 2008 @ 12:30 am

    Glad to hear you haven’t given up the pay it forward thing….even after your time in NY and MA. Life is too short not to say nice things to strangers, I think. Isn’t that what these series of tubes are all about on another level? Connecting?

    Have I had too much wine tonight?

    I love your font by the way, you wear it well…

  4. Monica (monica) on April 7th, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

    I think this occurs more often than you think. I often get stopped on the street — usually to provide directions for confused tourists, but also by people who compliment my hair or bag or shoes.

    Last Saturday an 82-year-old woman asked me for directions to the Hotel Harrington. Since I was going to the Barnes and Noble on 12th Street, I offered to walk her. Turns out she was visiting from Brooklyn, lived for a time near the town I grew in in southeastern Massachusetts, and has a granddaughter who attends my alma mater – Syracuse University.

    Yankee folk aren’t necessarily cold, just a little leery of being approached by "crackheads and hustlers."

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