Hello, Pat Davids, here.
I had a wonderful time at my niece's wedding a few weeks ago. I love weddings and I love socializing at the receptions, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends and family. Now, if you must know, I'm terrible with names. Terrible. However, I'm pretty good with faces.
At this wedding reception I saw this tall, burly man with a full beard and something about him seemed so familiar. I walked over to his table with a big smile on my face and I said, "Hi, I think I know you."
Without blinking an eye, he said, "No, you don't."
Wow, talk about a conversation killer, but I'm persistent if nothing else. I said, "I used to be Pat Stroda (my maiden name) and I went to Chapman High School.
He said, "I'm Gary and I didn't." (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
He honestly did not seem to care who I was. Trying one more track, because I was sure I had met this man, I asked, "Do you work in Wichita?"
Sighing in complete defeat, I said, "Then you are a perfect stranger, aren't you?"
That got a smile at last and even a small chuckle. His wife thought it was really cute.
I ran into her when I was leaving and told her to tell the "perfect stranger" goodbye. I need not have bothered. He was waiting by the door.
His eyes grew bright, he smiled and held out his hands. "Hey, aren't you Pat who went to school in Chapman?"
"Yes," I cried. "Aren't you Gary who didn't go there?'
Oh, we both had a good laugh. I pulled out a postcard with a list of my upcoming titles and told him, "Now we'll never be strangers again."
A nice story, but it didn't end there. Several days later, I got an e-mail from the "perfect strangers" wife. She had been telling the story and mentioned that I was an author to her book club. Several of them had heard of me, and low and behold, I've been invited to be their guest speaker in December. What fun.
There really is no such thing as a perfect stranger. Only friends we haven't met yet.
What's your stranger to friend story. I know we all have them.