Thursday, September 17, 2009

At the Reception.

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.


  1. That's a cute story. You can promote books just by being you, and never missing an opportunity to strike up a conversation, no matter how hard.

  2. Wow! Very cool...I haven't really had any story like that, I don't think. Let me think on it, I'll get back to you : )

  3. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks for stopping by. I've never been shy and I was born with the gift of gab. Promoting is easy for me.

  4. Hannah,
    Nice to see you here again. Do get back to us. I can't imagine you have trouble making friends.

  5. Pat,
    That is a neat story. I can't think of a stranger to friend story, but your story reminded me about the time I ran into someone I went to high school with when I was in college. I was traveling with a group who had gone from South Dakota to Texas for a missionary conference. We had stopped at a rest area in Iowa to have lunch. As the girls in the group were headed to the restrooms, a guy was walking toward the parking lot. When he got closer, I looked at him and said, "I know you." But I couldn't think of his name. Thankfully, he did remember me, and I finally remembered his name. We went to high school in WAshington state, so what were the chances that we'd meet at a rest stop in Iowa?

  6. Okay Pat..I think I came up with a story.

    I went to the National Young Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. when I was in 7th grade(5 years ago now). There was a boy in my group who was nice and we hung out a lot during the week. Later on, I found out that he was from Vermont also, only a couple towns over! He was on our flight home too. So, we sat together. After coming home, I was talking about him with a friend and it turns out that they went to church together! Unfortunately, we never really kept in touch. But it's incredible what a small world it really is, isn't it!? I'd love to meet up with him and hang out again sometime...

    Hope that story works!


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