Sunday, July 17, 2011

ALWAYS Talk to Strangers--and I'll Tangle a Lucky Commenter's Name

Growing up, I was taught never to talk to strangers. But golly, a girl can miss out on a lot of interesting people if she heeds that advice.

A couple of months ago, I sat next to a pleasant man on an airplane. Turns out he was on his way to Cuba to help train Navy SEALS, and he was a commodore in the US Navy. He's currently teaching communications to college students. We chatted about communications and Navy SEALS. Since then we've communicated via email. If I ever need info about the SEALS, I have a great resource.

This week, while walking on the beach, I met a woman who turned to show me a nifty piece of dark green seaglass she found in the surf. We got to talking and walking. She told me how she'd turned several pieces of seaglass into necklaces by wrapping wire about them. In fact, she makes bracelets and necklaces out of recycled guitar strings. Her name is Joyce Roseman, and her company is Strung Up Jewelry. I hope to convince Joyce to write a post for this blog. Isn't her stuff beautiful?

Also this week, I posted an interview with Donald Bain, who writes the "Murder, She Wrote" series along with "Jessica Fletcher." Now, I've never met Mr. Bain, and we haven't spoken, but I suppose you could say that emailing folks you don't know counts as "talking to strangers."

A long time ago, I saw a sign that said, "There are no strangers; just friends we haven't met." Because of the Internet, you can "meet up" with people in a way that's relatively safe, can't you? Certainly, I'd warn a child not to talk to strangers, but when I think back on many of the most delightful encounters I've had in my life...well, I talked to strangers.

How about you? Dish!

I'll randomly select one lucky commenter and "tangle" (create a Zentangle) that person's name.


Liz said...

Certainly life would be less interesting but for the strangers who cross our path and Internet seems to offer endless opportunities for expanding our acquaintances.

A caution, however. Make sure you are in a safe environment--a plane w/ security personnel at your destination or a public beach seems sound. And recognize that being of a certain age affords some protection in itself, if only experience from poor choices. Unsupervised/untutored Internet interactions for children are not safe.

Jennwhite said...

and it's so interesting where you find connections! I just discovered Zentangles and am totally hooked. Taught them to my art camp last week and got a lot of them hooked too. So even though I don't "know" you, I feel like I know you because we have something in common! So is there really such a thing as a stranger?

Dru said...

Just this morning I talked to a stranger. I was reading my kindle and she was reading her book and we struck up a converation about e-readers.

I showed her what my kindle could do - increase text size, read to you, play games and I even let her hold it to get a feel.

I wonder if the next time I see her, she'll have an e-reader.

Monica Ferris said...

My father would talk to anyone, and I inherited that trait. I've met some fascinating people on trains, planes and buses.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Liz, you are right. I am cautious, but I also am willing to reach out. It's true that the beach was probably the most "unsafe" situation, but I also rely on my instincts, and they've served me well.

True, I'm at that "certain age." It's a boon.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Jenn, I'm addicted. Zentangles really help me focus. They are so soothing. I've taught my aunt, my sister, and a young friend how to "tangle," so maybe you and I really do "know" each other!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Dru, I find that Kindle owners love to share their fondness for their device. I've met so many women in the nail salon, who (like me) find it easy to tap a button with wet nails.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Monica, I think it's a part of our love of research, don't you?

Liz said...

Please rest assured that the reference to age was to mine, not yours.
Some time ago, a newspaper article described a nearby FBI sub-office where agents participated in chat rooms, mimicking youths, in an effort to thwart pedophiles. Hence, the reference to children.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

But Liz, I'm so there!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Oh, heck, I'll just "tangle" all our guests' names--Dru, Liz, and JennWhite. Just send me your postal addresses, please! at

Anonymous said...

Crossing paths on a beautiful evening at this beach was no risk at all. We were no longer strangers after we exchanged but a few sentences. By the end of the walk you'd think we had known each other for many years. In my travels, I am continually meeting "strangers" that are friendships in the making. Life is about risk and I am so glad I took a moment to share my sea treasures with you.

Thanks for the post about Strung Up Jewelry. I hope all your readers take time to check out our creative product. And...I'd be glad to write a blog post for you any time.

What a joy to have made a new friend in you, Joanna.