Jaime and I just got back from Raleigh and Asheville. There was something very interesting and different about Asheville. People were so kind. Strangers constantly talked to each other. We’d be at the bar and someone would come up to get a drink and stand next to us. They wouldn’t just stand there and wait in silence for their beer. They looked at us and said hello, how’s it going? When we told them we were from MD, they were happy to make recommendations for places to visit. One person even said “have a drink with us if you’d like!” Even when I would just walk to the bathroom and pass people, they made eye contact with me and smiled. It was wild. It was almost freaky. I’ve never seen anything like it! Everywhere we turned: smiles and hellos.
We started our trip in Raleigh, then went to Asheville, then ended our trip back in Raleigh. The first time we were in Raleigh, we went to one of my favorite breakfast places called Beasley’s Chicken and Honey. SO GOOD. We had a lovely waitress. After our Asheville visit, we partied it up in Raleigh with our friend Magara. She took us to a cool bar with a great band. I noticed a familiar woman walking by. Oh! Oh! I know! It was our waitress from brunch the other day. We went up to her and asked. It was totally her! Her boyfriend (in the band) is friends with our friend. In fact, we even played a show together with that waitress’ boyfriend at Magara’s house a few years ago. So, someone random who seems like a total stranger could be anything but.
When we boarded the plane in Raleigh to head back to Baltimore, I smiled at the flight attendant and said “Hi, how are you?” She looked surprised and actually said to me “Wow! I’m great. Thanks for asking; nobody ever asks me that when I’m working.”
Yikes. This broke my heart.
Have you ever told a coworker you won’t be in today cuz you’re sick, and the only thing they ask is something like “are you still gonna be able to get those files done?” I see weird heartless interactions like this all the time. I think we could take a few notes from the lovely folks in Asheville. The bartender at a show isn’t just some faceless person who was put on this earth to bring me beverages for a few hours. He is also a dude with a mom, maybe some kids, maybe some dreams of his own. We need to care more. We don’t need to necessarily take candy from strangers or let them move in, but I think it’s totally ok to care about them and to talk to them. Cuz who knows? We might even know a friend of theirs. Or maybe we’ve already met! But even if we have zero friends in common. Why not be nice? It opens our hearts a bit. It helps us to be empathetic. And those good vibes will spread and cause a lot of good quality stuff to flourish. Woo!
Thanks for reading! I love you!