In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Middle Seat.”
It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
Occasionally I have experienced this type of behavior several times a week at my local Starbucks.
There is one gentleman who always see fit to sit next to me and begins a conversation, which I have no interest in what so ever. I have used the earphones in my ears as a reuse to indicated I did not want to be bothered. For some reason, he never caught on and never took the hints.
I thought his eyesight was failing, believing he did not notice the white ear buds in my ears or my new Bluetooth headset covering the rear of my head. I was never disrespectful and always polite.
One day as a deterrent to having him leave me alone, I told him, I’m listening to a live podcast. My reuse did not fool him, because he inquired as to what was a podcast.
Once I explained what a podcast was and showed him how to access, download and listen to what he chooses from the various genres. He seemed quite happy. Are at least no longer talking to me.
Several days later, he entered the store, nodded hello in my direction. With earbuds in his ears, he purchased a coffee and a donut, and settled into to his seat.
I walked over to where he sat and nodded hello. He looked up, pointed to the earbud in his ears and focused on listening.
I walked away smiling and softly saying, I taught him well, I taught him well.