In my dream last night, I was at home with the kids (naturally not at any house I’ve ever lived in or recognize!), when a thing I love happened.
People started just stopping by.
The first person to come by was a few neighbors. They just came on in. Turns out that one of them was a high schoolmate, Carrie Panther. In the dream we lived just two doors down from each other. Her husband and mine were locked in conversation.
More people came in and the house was like the sand on the beach… with waves of wonderful friends and neighbors in every room. The feeling was pure thrill! Who will be next? With so many hugs, so many conversations happening in different nooks of the house.
I went outside where one of the kids’ friends was in a nearby parking lot, sitting on a Homer bucket, playing his guitar. All of the friends were standing around, chatting, listening to music. There were babies dancing and I joined them. No one could resist the music.
Pretty soon I was approached by my former colleague, John Holt. He was wearing the gray suit I’d always seen him in daily when we worked the weekends at FOX 4. He had the best smile and a huge hug for me. He told me how glad he was to see me– I introduced him to my other friends.
The introductions went like a history of the last half of my life: This is Mike King. We worked together at Junior Theatre when we were both 14. This is Mr King (totally unrelated), my high school geometry teacher. This is Patrice… we were best friends when we met on the Disney College Program. She’s from Utah. This is T. Mallie. Everybody meet T. Mallie!
That Warm, “People” Feeling
People leaned against the warm brick building and stood in little circles. The music played. Everyone hugged me and everyone talked to each other. My sister Kathy and I spent a dollar to buy a Mexican Coke from one of the food vendors who’d sprung up to serve us all.
The conversation about “stopping by” came up in the real world. My fellow former Quad-Citian Valorie mentioned on Facebook that people just “stopped by” when she was young. I agreed.
This was NOT a thing when we lived in Connecticut. I asked my friends why and they shrugged. Not the way it was. Eventually, a few brave Connecticut friends — Bonnie, Nick, Jeff — took on the practice for us.
I get this isn’t a thing all people grew up with. I get that some people are introverts. I get that now might not be the best time. There are all kinds of reasons to be in the “ICK-Zone” with stopping by.
I think you should try it though. Cuz we are in bad need of connection.
Just stop by. If you are nearby a friends house, just stop and say hello. Don’t stay for a year… stay for a few minutes. Bring them a thing you borrowed and give them a hug. Be on your way.
Maybe just don’t visit the haters. Some people aren’t into it. You know your family and friends. If they give you the cold shoulder or an excuse, be able to take a hint.
Or maybe visit them anyway. Give them a hug, tell them you love them, be on your way.
You can even do the modified version, where you are nearby, and want to stop by. Then you call and say: “Can I stop by?” Often the answer is… YES!