You Talkin’ To Me?

This is not an original thought, nor a timely one, but there were several instances on the streets of New York where I thought someone was talking to me and they were on the phone. This has been a trend for many years – from the days of connecting a Jabba bluetooth ear piece to your Razor phone – but it happen enough times that I wanted to mention it. When I was growing up in New York the only people on the street talking to themselves were the homeless.

Smile, Wave or Nod

Whenever I pass someone going in the opposite direction on the running trail, I acknowledge them. I try to do this with everyone, no matter their pace. Even if they are walking.

How I acknowledge them is based how serious of a runner they are or if they acknowledge me first. I return any acknowledgement with the same acknowledgement. If someone is a very serious runner, I am likely to just give them a head nod. That means, “Yup, we’re both runners.” If they seem to be a little more casual, I will offer them a wave. Usually it’s just the raise of a hand on the side closest to them that means, “Hey, glad we’re both out here running.”

And then there’s a smile. This is a more friendly acknowledgment, but I find that my behavior is determined by societal norms. I would never smile at another dude. But I smile at almost all the women. Many smile back.

More Expressive Words

English is very utilitarian language, and it can lack the nuance of other languages. For example, there is a Japanese word tsundoku. It means buying a book, but not reading it. These are books that pile up with other unread books. I can relate to this word. I have boxes of these books. They were all so full of promise when I bought them. Now I avoid this by getting books from the library. There’s less investment in these stacking up, but it is also harder to go back and read them later. After I’ve long since returned them.