My Mother Always Told Me…

Not to talk to strangers.

For whatever reason I seem compelled to do just that. A simple nod or a hello to a passerby on the street or in the grocery store. Harmless enough, spreading cheer, goodwill and a smile. Quite often, in our techie smart phone existence I get a random text from a stranger. It isn’t random to the sender. They clearly have something to say and someone to say it to. It just sometimes gets misdirected and springs to life on my screen. I can’t resist a response. You just never know what someone will tell a total stranger, it is almost like a confessional. I wonder, are they looking for redemption? I am thinking this because of my last text from an unknown. I finally told them that if they were embarrassed to tell a complete stranger what they did last night, well they might better rethink said behavior! 74 texts later, they thanked me for such good advice and told me I must be a good mom. Absolutely I thought! All good in the world, until two days later when my phone buzzes to life again, sporting ‘that number’. “Hello” it says…I look at it questioning myself. Respond? Ignore? You already know the answer to that. But this conversation was going to be short. One. I was busy. Two, I was a bit uncomfortable thinking I had a ‘new’ friend. Especially when the verse went back to this person’s previous dilemma. I had to end it. Our relationship was over. I told them I wasn’t a counselor and certainly it would not be ethical to continue the conversation. Then I thought, I wonder, was that a total stranger? Really a  random misdirected call to their BFF Cynthia or was I a target? I must be getting paranoid as middle age creeps up on me. Just the same, when you do talk to strangers, one must take care. The world is kind of twisted these days and I prefer to keep my apple cart upright.

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