Being shameless and feeling safe

After deciding to take a night to myself and watching movies on Friday night, I decided to return to the business of exploring my more social nature yesterday. As Michele was working at Psychic’s Thyme, I decided to go there for part of the day and hang out with her. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Belinda was also there. As it turns out Belinda had invited her daughter, Min, to stop in and visit too. I have to admit that I had a bit of fun giving Min a hard time, and received at least as well as I gave.

Min and Belinda decided to go to lunch and invited me to go along. I graciously accepted, and we ended up going to the Chinese Buffet in Jefferson Plaza in Henrietta. We had a pleasant lunch and a great conversation. On the way back to the shop, Min took us to her apartment so that Belinda could see it. Min was kind enough to not make me wait in the car. Given the guy we ran into on the way into the apartment building, I was grateful for that.

We parked on the street behind this kid (well, he was probably in his early twenties) who was getting stuff out of his SUV. We headed for the apartment building, only to discover that the young man had the same destination in mind. As I reached the door first, I held it open for the ladies and even waiting the few extra seconds to hold it for the other guy who was just a few steps behind us. Of course, this meant that he passed me, thereby giving me an excellent opportunity to check him out. Naturally, I made excellent use of such an opportunity. Belinda caught me and waited long enough to accuse me of “shameful behavior” once the young man was out of earshot. I simply pointed out to her that I’d actually have to have shame first, and that my lack of shame made it shameless behavior.

Of course, Belinda was pretty sneaky herself. As the three of us approached the small elevator in the building, the same man was busy loading his stuff into the small car. Min waved me to step into the elevator myself and then told Belinda to get in. Instead, she chose to wait for the elevator to come back. She later told me I “owed her” for letting me have some time with the guy alone. Considering we hardly even spoke, I don’t feel I owe her anything.

After checking out the apartment and chatting for a bit, we headed back to the shop. Min said her goobyes, as she had work that afternoon. Belinda and I spent the rest of the day hanging out and chatting until the shop closed. As a result, I get to know Tobie and her kids better, which was a pleasure.

I realized just how much I like hanging out there. Psychic’s Thyme is one of those places where I feel socially comfortable. It’s a place where I have a sense of how I fit in, and I can usually get a conversation going with someone. But it’s also a place where I feel confident saying hello to the random people who come and go through the day. I realized it’s perfectly natural for me to greet customers as they enter and say goodbye as they leave. This is especially beneficial in those situations where those actually working there are busy with other matters (like ringing a purchase up) and therefore aren’t able to do so themselves. And of course, if a customer is in the mood to make a bit of conversation while shopping, I’ve found I can do that as well.

I hope that as I continue to come to Equal Grounds and attend various COAP events, I find myself develop a similar sense of safety and self-confidence there. In reality, that’s exactly what I need, so that I can feel safe enough opening up and even taking some initiative in building friendships.

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