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Treating Strangers like Friends

When you travel with someone for a year or two, you pick up their habits. One of Todd's habits that I most admire, and am thankful to have picked, up is the practice of treating strangers like friends. When he goes to a restaurant and the waiter asks him how he is, he tells him what's going on in his life and returns the question in such a way that it obligates a genuine response. When we leave a restaurant, everyone we know gets a hug.

I get nostalgic, mostly for times I wasn't alive for. Like the middle ages. And, more relevantly, like the days before computers and cell phones, when neighbors actually recognized each other, and maybe even talked to each other. Shopkeepers were called shopkeepers, and they knew their customers by name. Their conversations extended beyond a scripted sales pitch for a rip-off extended warranty. I miss these times because I've seen them in movies and read about them in books, not because I've really experienced them.

Simple habits can be profound. One such habit that is more important than ever is to treat strangers like friends. Facebook, cell phones, and other "social" technologies have done to friendship what laminate flooring did for hardwood floors. It made things easier and more accessible, but did so at the cost of substance. In fact, this is happening in pretty much every area of life, something I've realized more fully now that I'm trying to find meat with substance; it's almost impossible. So I try to treat everyone as though they're a real person, just in case they actually are. Unfortunately I can't answer all my email anymore, but when I do I try to write to the person as if they're my friend, rather than use stock replies (which I could do, since a lot of the things people write about are similar). Once in a while I even fill someone in on secret future plans or send them a draft of something. When interacting with random people in everyday life, I make an effort to actually listen to them and to talk about things that they may not have talked about with every person they've interacted with that day.

This is me

On Looking at her hurts a bit

Since I have no reason what I'm actually gonna type here I decided to just go with this title. It sucks, I know.

Well okay I guess I'm just going to tell a little bit about myself.

- My name is Emma but you can call me Em or whatever you like. Be creative. I dare you.- I'm 19 years old- I'm studying International Media and Entertainment management but after this I want to do my masters in something related to screenwriting.- No I don't actually know what I'm going to do with my life- I'm more of a live in the moment kind of girl. I'll see what life brings to me. (doesn't mean I don't dream about my future though)- English is not my first language (apologies in advance for any annoying mistakes I'm probably going to make)- I love to write. - I'm slightly addicted to television shows and partying.- I'm currently in love with a girl and I have no idea what to do about that.

I get that you want to know more about me and this girl. Well.. let's just say I found out that I was bi last year when I suddenly had a crush on a friend of mine. Okay this totally sucked just so you know. I guess it's always been there I just never realized. Eventually we all got drunk and I told her and urgh it was pretty fucked up but we stayed friends. I think we're pretty good now, as far as possible of course.

Time went by, I kissed some guys (made some mistakes blabla you know it), and well... nothing really happened. I haven't told anyone beside a friend of mine who lives in England and well obviously that girl I had a crush on. My parents sort of know but the last time I tried to bring it up to my mom she got really mad and said it was just a phase. I don't want to make you think that she's a homophobic or something because she's not. She just doesn't really realize that I might be serious about this.

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