Occasionally through life, we are granted the gift of meeting extraordinary people.
As we sail through life, it’s easy to forget some of those people who made an impression on our lives in a small way. Like an amazing stranger that you never see again. Life gets busy, booked up, full of working hours, too many things on our “to-do” lists, people go home (busy) each evening and watch TV for several hours…until they retire for the night. We simply just do not have the time to think about someone we met briefly many years ago that made a tiny impression on our day. I am guilty of this as well as others are. So, this morning I have thanked God for several chance encounters I’ve had with people over the years. (I’ve been working on my memory since July of last year and recovering those lost memories has been progressing as I sift through pictures. I take pictures so often, there are many to remind me about specific days. Especially if there was an emotion attached to a photograph…and, I’m a chick…so their’s ALWAYS an emotion.)
I remember the first baseball game we attended. I didn’t know the real rules of the game, so I kept asking a friend (who sat 4 seats away with 2 empty seats in-between us) why different things were happening. He was frustrated, frowned a lot, and finally said, “Look, I came here to WATCH a game. Okay”? I smirked and thought to myself, “Fine, I’ll ask someone else 😛 “. I looked around, observed most of the women were melting in multiple layers of make up, stumbling up and down the stadium steps in high heels, and only talking to other women. The men that sat near or next to them were holding a beer, hot dog, or pop and staring straight ahead at the game. The men were focused and the ladies were socializing in the sweltering heat. The men occasionally gave a head nod or fake smile to the women. This seemed to make those women very happy (or at least they smiled big and chuckled loudly).
So, I turned to my oldest son & told him I’d be back in a few minutes, stay put. He nodded. You see, both of my boys had asked me questions about the game, trying to learn it as well & I couldn’t answer their questions! 🙁 My dad never really watched sports or played any, so my brother wasn’t into any sports either. My mom… Are you kidding? I had to learn them on my own. I squeezed out of the row of seats and went up the steps to the vending areas. I walked around for a few minutes, watching people interact with each other. Most of the men were in their own world’s. As they walked, went in & out-of-doors, ordered food, or were going up & down the steps… their minds were on the game – I mean like total game zombies. That’s not a bad thing either, but I needed to find someone who was into the game enough that they could answer some simple questions, yet, I wouldn’t be dangerously snapping them out of another reality into mine so sudden it resulted in brain damage or a scream at me! 🙂 From observation, I could already tell the other women had already scarred the men’s mindset: “Will she ever shut up? I just wanna watch this game. Why does she come with me? I’m not flirting with any one. Geez!!”
I found one!! A very slender older man wearing a green shirt was standing in the 2ft X 3ft smoking section. He was staring at the field, but there was nothing going on down there. The game had like, paused. I lit a cigarette and stirred up the courage to say, “Hi, would you mind if I asked you some really dumb questions before the game gets started back?” He looked at me oddly and answered, “I guess.” I said, “Great! Thank you. Can you keep up with me if I go really fast- so you can watch the game?” He looked at his shoes, took a deep breath & said “Sure.” So, off I went:
Me: “Why is that guy on the mound throwing the balls away from the guy with the bat? Doesn’t he want the guy to hit the ball?”
My Amazing Stranger: “Strikeout. Pitcher wants to only barely stay within boundries…wants batter to swing & miss.”
Me: “Oh… Why Are the guys waaay out in the field running so far & hard to catch balls that going to land near their own players closer up the field? Why doesn’t the other player just get or catch it?”
My Amazing Stranger: “guard the base. don’t leave it” …taps finger on chin… “Or lazy player and over compensating player.”
Me: “hmm, okay…why so many intermissions?
My Amazing Stranger: “Drink Beer, gotta pee”
Me: “Thank you! Am I bothering you?”
My Amazing Stranger: “No”
Me: ‘Why are there so many people over on that bank past the outfield?”
My Amazing Stranger: “It’s free. You can’t see the game.”
Me: “What’s an inning?”
My Amazing Stranger: “the # of times a team is in the field/at bat”
Me: “How many are there?”
My Amazing Stranger: “9”
Me: “Tired of the questions yet?”
My Amazing Stranger: “No, but the game will start soon.”
Me: “Okay, Who are the good guys?”
My Amazing Stranger: a got a chuckle out of him..”There are no good or bad guys. The Smokies are in white shirts and pants.”
Me: “hm, yeah that’s what I meant to say.”
***Queue the Awkward silence***
Me: “Will you be back to smoke soon?”
My Amazing Stranger: “In 2 more Innings.”
Me: “Could I come ask you more questions as my kids ask me?”
My Amazing Stranger: “Yes”
And with that, he put out his cigarette and went away. We met two more times and I asked probably 30 more questions about the game, players, and things they did on the field. Each time he didn’t seem aggravated or bothered by my questions. I think that he understood that I really wanted to learn the game we were watching and that the questions he answered, I told my boys when we parted. That was when I added the Reds to my bucket list. My Amazing Stranger was from Cincinnati 🙂
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Thank you. I am not sure what type of RSS feed issue you are having.
Love it… shows how a single person can effect your life and how we can all be that person.
Thanks Ginger. What if we are that Amazing Stranger one day to someone or what if we already have been? Most of us probably have been & didn’t even know it 🙂