There is a trait that I somehow exude which is extremely consistent and yet baffles me entirely.
People will stop and ask me for directions – where is this, where is that, how do I get here, when does X start, etc. It does not matter where I am, and sometimes even what I’m wearing doesn’t matter.
I’ve had people stop and ask me where things are in Nordstrom, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, K-Mart and every store in between, at concerts, at events, at dog shows, etc. I’ve even been mistaken for representatives from Corporate headquarters on a number of occasions. Boy is that odd when the manager is all kinds of treating me deferentially until I actually have to tell them “you know, I’m not from corporate. I’m just a customer”.
Today, I’m wandering through the courthouse complex in my city, trying to find where the heck I need to go to check in for Jury Duty. As I’m wandering around with what I expect is a “where am I?” look, some ladies stop me and ask where the bathroom is. Not having seen one, I couldn’t tell them. They apologized, as most do when they realize I’m not actually associated with whatever store or facility we happen to be in, and as part of that they tell me that I looked like a lawyer so they thought I knew. A lawyer … wearing jeans? Ooookay.
On the way BACK from check-in where I got reassigned and sent home immediately, I get stopped by another man who asks where he goes for Jury Duty. Well, now I happened to know that answer, and if I know then I’m always happy to tell people. So I gave him directions, he thanked me, and we went on our way.
But why? What is it about me that inspires people to think “she knows where this illusive thing I seek is, let’s ask”? I don’t mind, really, I’m just baffled. I don’t mind for several reasons. One reason is it means people think I’m approachable enough to in fact do that. Ok, I can be down with being approachable. It also means that no matter where I am, people think I belong there. From lawyer to sales clerk to event coordinator, apparently I fit the bill. Lastly, it means that something about me says “I have the answer you seek”. Whether I do or not is immaterial. It’s perception. Often, I do have the answer.
If I could figure out exactly what this energy is, perhaps I could use it somehow? Make it an active asset of some sort. I can’t even identify what archetypal pattern it might belong to! The only thing I can think of is that I’ve taken to smiling pleasantly at almost everyone everywhere I go, and I’ve stated in previous social experiment posts I almost ALWAYS get a positive response. Even it’s a confused look with that reverse-chin-nod of greeting. I can almost imagine them thinking “I don’t know you, why are you making eye contact and smiling? Guess I’ll nod in reply.” I wonder if this energy is associated with the current quandary – but being asked things while out started in my teens, looooong before I consciously begin projecting this general pleasantness attitude so I don’t think that’s really the source.
Oddly enough, this never ever EVER translates into anything which could remotely be construed as flirting or even an invitation to engage in any way beyond “where is X”. No guy has ever taken a smile from me while out and about as anything other than “how-do have-a-pleasant-day take-care”. It doesn’t even translate to have actual friends. I’m not approachable enough to ask out, or just chat with, but if you have a question about where something is, then apparently I’m the one ask.
About the Featured Image: something fun I found on a skillshare site talking about Photoshop layers. I’m sorry I didn’t get the link. It’s not mine. Do a google search for it and I’m sure you can find it.