Friday, February 20, 2015

Alone in the City

So to catchup. My partner and I separated over the Christmas break. I've spent the last few weeks just getting accustomed to the idea. I am turning 40 this year, and am single for the first time in 15 years.

For full openness, we have separated but are still dating, and have decided and to see other people. As my sibling puts it, we are polyamorous! That implies we are already seeing other people, but the possibility is certainly open to us. The future is both terrifying and exciting.

Tonight was possibly my first true experience of being a single person, out alone in the city. I met a friend for dinner, and she dropped me at the train to get home. Of course my train terminated in town and I had a thirty minute wait for the connecting train... with the festival bars on the train station doorstep.

I was gagging for a cigarette so I headed over to the bars to look for a chat (and to bum a fag). It took ages to even find another smoker - two women who were happy to give me a cigarette but who immediately turned back to their private conversation. I thanked them and moved on.

So of course I smoked the cigarette on my own and went back to the train. The thing is,  I really felt like I was trying to spark up a conversation with anyone. I was making eye contact, smiling, probably looking awkward. What else does someone do?

I don't even remember HOW to meet strangers. Were we ever taught this stuff in school? Or are we expected to remain friends with the handful of people we meet in school and never meet anyone else?

The thing is, I'm trying to quit smoking - I even chewed off 6 of 10 fingernails tonight trying NOT to smoke, and yet, it was the only reason I could think of to approach a stranger. How do people DO this?!

Going forward, I think this will be my version of the SATC blog... except my version is Alone In The City. I am OK being alone in general, but I still like to chat every now and again... so...

What are YOUR methods for approaching strangers in a crowd?