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Talk to a Stranger: 9/13-9/15

Over the course of this weekend I took several trips into downtown Bennington. My first outing was Friday afternoon. I parked my car outside of South Street and began to meander through town. As a smoker, for now, I am comfortable with approaching strangers, who are also smoking, to ask to borrow their lighter. So, when I saw two women standing outside of Tropical Rayz smoking cigarettes and chatting I instantly saw a way in. I approached, comfortably and casually, and asked to borrow one of their lighters. Conversation was instantly sparked (along with my cigarette) between the three of us. They both grew up in town and have lived here their whole lives. They were excited to hear that I grew up in New York City and asked me several questions about my childhood in "the big apple" (their words, not mine). When asked how or why I chose Bennington we segued into talking about one of their daughters who happens to be a few years younger than me and beginning to look at colleges. She asked if her daughter could friend me on Facebook if she had questions about Bennington College or colleges in New York City which I said yes to and gave her my full name. After that I was no longer nervous and confident that I could approach other strangers. I did this again Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. In retrospect, I realize I approached only women which may be an obvious choice but something I don't think I had considered beforehand.