Want to know what your problem is?
I'm one of those folks who seem to be able to strike up unusual conversations with strangers. Today I was thinking about this encounter from a few years ago. Could this snippet end up in a novel? Perhaps.
“Want to know what your problem is?”
The voice came from my right. I turned to find a pleasant-looking woman smiling at me, waiting for my response to her question. Her voice held both confidence and compassion.
Having never been approached by a stranger with such an interesting question. I was intrigued.
My author’s brain scrambled, creating several scenarios from the unusual interaction. (Perhaps this is a prompt for a future novel!)
Wouldn’t life be grand if someone could size you up, determine your needs, and offer a solution so easily?
Well, of course I said yes. After all, who wouldn’t want a pleasant, confident woman defining my problem and subsequently solving it within seconds of laying eyes on me?
I wish this fairy godmother had given me the secret to happiness or the key to security. I wish she could have looked into my heart and found the perfect prescription to making my day more blessed.
But that didn’t happen.
Easy answers and quick fixes, though desirable, are not common to the human condition, and that’s okay. If life is too easy the rewards might be cheapened. I’m fine with the fact that to achieve you have to work. To maintain relationships you have to be available and giving. To enjoy the fruits of your labor you have to, well, labor.
Are you wondering what my problem is?
I was in a store trying on a dress and looking in the three-way mirror in the dressing room when she approached me. The dress was about 99% perfect, but there was something off. She knew right away—the shoulder seams needed to be taken in an inch. She stepped up behind me and pinched the fabric up on each shoulder.
This fun encounter would not have gone forward unless I was willing to give a stranger a chance to tell me what was on her mind. I'm glad I did.
Now she didn't give me the secret to making a million dollars or the method to achieve world peace, but two weeks later, and after a visit to the tailor, I had the perfect summer dress.