Happy New Year everyone!
I'd like to share a strange experience I had the other day. I had a doctor’s appointment and after I signed in, I notice a lady was reading one of my books. This is an author’s dream, or at least it’s one of mine. I could hardly believe she was reading my book.
Now my dilemma. Should I say something? Heck yeah, was my instant response. So I nicely said, “Are you enjoying the book?”
“Yes,” she replied, without raising her head.
Well, I didn’t expect that. So I tried again.
“I wrote that book,” I continued.
“I know,” was her surprising answer, and again she didn’t look up.
My ego was starting to take a beating. Where was the gushing or praise or something beside "I know?"
Okay. I waited a minute and then asked, “Would you like a bookmark?”
“No, thanks.” Again she didn’t look at me.
Now this was just weird. And rude. This certainly wasn’t turning out the way I was expecting. Before I could gather my courage to ask another question, she was called back to see the doctor. She gathered her book, her purse and quickly left the room, never looking my way.
At this point my ego was in the dumpster. Maybe that dream wasn’t so great after all.
When it was my turn to see the doctor, I planned to ask the nurse about the lady, but I never got a chance. The nurse said, “Linda, you have to stop scaring our patients.” And then she told me a shocking story.
The lady was in her late thirties and she was born to parents in their late forties. She was an only child and home schooled. Evidently she had very little contact with the outside world. Her parents had passed away and her guardian was trying to introduce her to the real world by making her go out in public, on the advice of a psychologist. The lady is painfully shy and has a extremely difficult time talking to people. Her passion is books and she reads all the time. She orders and never goes into a store.
The nurse went on to say that the lady had ordered all my books and had really wanted to talk to me, but she couldn’t. I felt so bad about persisting with questions and I asked the nurse to apologize for me. She said that she would, but the doctors wanted people to talk to her. That made me feel a lot better. I left a bookmark for her and the nurse said the lady would be excited to get it.
The situation didn't turn out the way I'd envisioned (have to wait for the gushing and praise), but I came away with a deep appreciation for other people’s feelings. I can’t even imagine living in that kind of fear.
How about you? Have you had any strange encounters?
Mar ’09 - The Sheriff of Horseshoe, Texas