Stranger-friends from another perspective

Guest blogger today! “Grace” is sharing her version of Stranger-friends. Just like we all share different stories about the same traffic accident, we have different stories about the same life event. I will admit that hers does jog my memory a bit more.

“Sylvia” remains, as always, beloved Switzerland.

Here is Grace:

Marie walks in with a stranger, and says “I ran into <Stranger X>, and so he gave me a ride home.”  Sylvia and I say (thinking that he is an old friend of Marie’s), “Great, come join us for dinner and an episode of LA Law (or whatever the popular show was).”  Marie runs up to her room to change, and Sylvia/I start peppering him with questions, like “How do you know Marie?”  Our Asian eyes start to get big and round, and we start to chomp on our dinner quietly.  Stranger X then has to go to the bathroom, and we start asking Marie “Did you know this guy????  Why did you let him come in?” Stranger X returns from the bathroom and we all watch TV silently, afraid to move, looking for a self defense object (in case we need it). Stranger X realizes that it is very uncomfortable, and he makes a quick exit.  I have still not recovered from this episode.

Marie again: Since this is my blog, I get the final word. tee hee. From the outside, Grace has apparently recovered enough to marry a wonderful man and raise two very bright children who do not accept rides from strangers. This helps to alleviate my guilt.

5 thoughts on “Stranger-friends from another perspective

  1. Love it! Thanks for sharing “Grace’s” perspective. I can imagine how scared I’d be in the situation, too, (since I didn’t grow up in Pittsburgh!). Thank goodness he was a nice guy. I hope someone points him to this blog so he understands why things got weird! I bet he never understood.

  2. This is like Kurasawa’s “Ran” movie. Or the Blind Men and the Elephant parable. Love it–so true to life in a post-modern way. Despite the inherent risk, I tend to live on the Marie side of experiencing the world (that is, trust everyone until you have a reason not to).

      • Looked up the story of the Blind Man and the Elephant. Here is what Wikipedia had to say, and, reading this, I thought, wait, maybe the narrator is blind in his own way as well. We all see different things…..Love this.

        In various versions of the tale, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement.
        The stories differ primarily in how the elephant’s body parts are described, how violent the conflict becomes and how (or if) the conflict among the men and their perspectives is resolved.
        In some versions, they stop talking, start listening and collaborate to “see” the full elephant. When a sighted man walks by and sees the entire elephant all at once, they also learn they are blind. While one’s subjective experience is true, it may not be the totality of truth. If the sighted man was deaf, he would not hear the elephant bellow. Denying something you cannot perceive ends up becoming an argument for your limitations.
        The story of blind men’s limitations appeals deeply to the reader as we very naturally and subconsciously identify with the narrator. There is, however, a highly arrogant assumption in the way the story is told. The only person who can see the whole truth is the narrator, who lets the reader in on his full-sighted perspective of the elephant. Everyone else is blind! The claim to know everything is arrogant. Yet the story allows the reader to dismiss all truth claims as partial versions of a bigger reality, which only the narrator and his readers see.

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