My dad talks to everybody.

And I do mean everybody.


Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he also knows everybody.  Do not walk into Walmart with this man.  You’ll be there until your next birthday.


We recently pulled up to a redlight, where my dad proceeded to have a conversation, out of the window, with a man on a motorcycle.  I’m not making this up.


It’s always a little disconcerting for me to be with my father (whom I adore) and watch him strike up conversations with complete strangers.  Partly because I’m a much more introverted person than he his, and partly because I was absent from the southern hospitality culture for so long.  I got used to it being the socially accepted practice to leave the other people in line alone.  It took me awhile after moving back home to not be weirded out every time I went to the grocery store.


I think I’m a yankee at heart.


Sometimes I feel guilty about this.  I start to develop  a complex and think that I should stop being so self-centered and instead should ask everyone in line if they’ve accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and savior.


Somehow I don’t think that approach is balanced, either.  It seems to have a certain lack of “walking in the spirit”.  Truthfully, if we’re alert and aware – I think we should be able to follow the subtle proddings of God.  And sometimes that might mean standing quietly in line (or, as was the case with me this week – watching the Wild Boys climb on top of the three different carts that the poor bagger boy was trying to sort our food into) and sometimes that might mean offering a kind word to a stranger.


Particularly if their baby is crying.  Without a “hate to be you” comment.


Do you have conversations with men on motorcycles at redlights?  Or are you normal like me?







  1. I asked the lady at the library what books she would recommend. No, it was not an employee. Just someone browsing. ;-)

    My mom talks to everyone too. I always hated it, but the older I get, the more I love it. I grew up with a fear of talking to people, so now I talk to anyone. There’s this cute man at the gym when I go…. Well…. yeah. So anyway, I guess by your definition, I am not normal. My mom always said normal was boring anyway.
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  2. My dad also knows every single person in the world, and if he doesn’t know them he does by the time he leaves. When I was a kid I thought it was awesome (sometimes annoying when it took us 30 extra minutes to get out of Wendy’s because he was deep in conversation, but mostly awesome). When I moved from Kansas (where that’s totally acceptable) to Phoenix (where it means you’re probably homeless and have some sort of mental disability) it took me a long time to figure out how to navigate the grocery store without weirding anybody out.
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    • Jessica says:

      That made me giggle a little. My dad was a riot when he came to visit us in Maryland. The cashier at the grocery store said, “You’re from the south … aren’t you?”

      • I think Kansas is probably a lot like the south in those ways. There were all sorts of things I had to have explained to me when I moved to Phoenix that weren’t a part of my small town experiences… like I remember someone having to explain to me that if my car broke down in Phoenix I needed to call someone instead of just hitchhiking home. Concepts like “Hitchhiking isn’t ok” probably never would have crossed my mind on their own. Did you have those same kinds of things when you moved?
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        • Jessica says:

          I didn’t really remember making much of cultural adjustment when I first left the south (except thinking it was weird that people didn’t know what grits and sweet tea were). For me the adjustment has always been coming back!

  3. My husband is the same way! Even when we’re on vacation! lol
    I’m the normal one. ;)

  4. i always ask people what they would recommend when making decisions .. although just the other day a random lady complimented me on my hat and proceeded to pull it off my head and further admire it. I appreciated the compliment but not her pulling if off my head – it was a bad hair day, hence the hat! I smile at random people a lot too.
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  5. He seems like quite a guy! <3
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  6. While I would never say that I was a yankee at heart (that’s southern blasphemy! LOL), I do think I’m less chatty than my Southern counterparts. Now, I’m married to a preacher: that means it takes an extra 30 minutes to get out of stores, and our food gets cold after waiting for him to walk around the restaurant and talking to every. single. table. Preachers know everyone. It’s both annoying and impressive. I wish I was more like him (or my parents) in that I wasn’t so apprehensive to start up convos. The weird part is, The Husband is pretty much an introvert; ministry forced him to become a social creature.
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  7. HA! This made me laugh… your dad and I might never stop talking. I have this weird thing where perfect strangers end up telling me their most personal secrets… anywhere and everywhere. Drives my husband a little insane… but it is totally a Southern thing! Thanks for stopping by my blog… love yours and newly following! Orangies Attic

    • Jessica says:

      For all I know, by the time I’m his age I’ll be just like him! :) Thanks for stopping by, too.

  8. I’m a midwesterner originally, but I’ve lived in the east, south and now northwest. The midwest and south are by far friendlier than than the others. My mom talks to everyone, too….. she’ll even talk to people in the next stall in public bathrooms. She can go into a bathroom not knowing anyone and come out with a new best friend!

    The older I get, the more talkative I get. And I often find myself thinking, “Oh no…I’m turning into my mom!”
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  9. Hilarious. My mom was that way and my grandmother still is. My inlaws joke that my grandmother loves parties because then she has a pile of new people to tell her life story to– a new audience. She use dot embarrass me constantly as she talked to everyone in every store. And no, here in Western PA that is NOT normal.
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    • I was actually just considering this morning whether or not I should start taking the kids to visit local retirement homes. Ten Year Old LOVES to listen to my dad’s stories, so she might like hearing other’s, too.

  10. My Papa was a talker. He knew everyone, and their father, and had a story to tell about them. He almost ran over a little boy who grew up to be Mayor Fluker over by the post office. Papa was born and raised in chicago and got stationed in waycross with the army air corps during WW2 and met my Nana.
    Well to the point, my nana didn’t like it that he talked so much to strangers, often telling them a joke in parting. she would quip… leave em laughing huh? and he said. Yep, better then crying.
    I am a quiet and very introverted person. I’m not shy, just quiet, which is something that is often confused. So to try to ensure that my introverted nature does not lead me to be self centered and the fact that i work from home… i talk to strangers. When a salesperson asks how i’m doing i tell them and then ask how they are and actually stop and make eye contact and wait for them to respond. I smile and make eye contact with lots of people too. Being noticed and acknowledged is important for people who are having a hard time.
    You never, ever know whats going on with people.
    Some of the loneliest people are surrounded by people all day. So I’m a talker and listener.

    • I am so bad about not having genuine conversations with cashiers and always feel bad about it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. My Dad talked to everyone too! If they had a name badge on, he called them by their first name and talked to them as if they were best friends forever. He knew the ladies that gave out samples and Costco and Sam’s Club. He knew their grandchildren’s names. His favorite part of church was the time right after the announcements when he got to walk up and down the aisle and chat during the meet and greet. When he and my mom moved to South Carolina, he kept church shopping until he found a church that he described as a “friendly” church.

    It embarassed me. I am a NORMAL introvert.

    My Dad came on vacation to visit me in September 2006. He had a massive heart attack and died in my home. I would give just about anything to be standing next to him in line while he is telling the stranger next to us in line about how he needs to figure out a way to haul black dirt from Minnesota all the way back home for his clay-filled garden.

    Thanks for the memory!
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  12. I am decidedly more introverted, like you. I rarely talk to people I don’t know if the door doesn’t open. Don’t get me wrong, I smile at everyone I see (most of the time). I just don’t have the boldness to strike up a conversation with just any old person.

    Plus I suck at small talk.
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  13. I think that I am an introvert who is situationally extroverted. So if the mood strikes me I will talk to anyone and everyone. And other times I will be really quiet and leave people alone.
    seekingpastor recently posted..Caption Contest Monday: Dora’s Severed HeadMy Profile

  14. Oh my gosh, my mom was like that! It was HUMILIATING! Because she went so far beyond just talking to everybody. She told everything she ever thought to everybody. She lacked that basic filter between brain and mouth.

    My sisters and I grew up and became the total opposite. One sister actually pulls out her cell phone and starts randomly dialing people the instant she gets out of her car in a parking lot so that nobody will even try to talk to her as she does her shopping. I’ve seen her FAKE cell conversations in the grocery store to keep strangers from talking to her. My other sister and I don’t go quite that far (we might if we didn’t both live in small “everybody knows everybody” towns, though ;-) but I have been known to duck down aisles I don’t even need to avoid chatty people in stores. I’m getting better, though. I recently made a sympathetic face and comment to a mom with a crying toddler in the store. But I don’t think I’ll be having conversations out the car window any time soon.
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    • Wow, I’d hate to see your sister if a stranger came up and took a piece of clothing off of her to admire it like one of the above commenters mentioned! Lol.

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