I’m a chatter – I freely admit it. No life stories, but a comment for the cashier, a quick quip for others waiting in line with me, hello to the librarian. Normally I pick raspberries with my BFF Sara. We chat away while we pick and if there are folks on the other side of the canes, we usually talk with them a bit.
This year schedules just didn’t coincide so I ended up at the raspberry patch on my own. I was sent down a long row of canes with just one lone gentleman on the other side. He had just started as well and we were picking at about the same speed. We even, by unspoken agreement, shared the “in between” space. Sometimes he would pick berries from the middle and sometimes he left them for me.
But he didn’t chat. I asked just a few questions to see if we could find some common ground:
VS: What do you do with all your berries?
H: We spread them on cookies sheets and freeze them?
VS: Me too. After I make some jam.
VS: Where are you from?
VS: That’s convenient. (berry patch is in Northfield)
VS: Are you here alone today?
H: No, my wife is here.
Three hints are enough for me. Clearly he didn’t feel the need to chat, so I left him alone and we continued to pick silently. His wife eventually showed up and they outpaced me although even as they got farther away from me I could hear that they weren’t speaking to each other either. So at least it wasn’t me.
Did your folks tell you never to talk to strangers?