Friendly Fact Finding

Is there a real line that needs to stay wide, bold and un-crossable when you meet a new friend? I’m not talking about just manners. Manners should be upheld no matter where you are in a relationship. Manners like not picking at anything that might be bothering you because it is protruding from or hiding in an orifice on your person. (Quite a visual huh?) Or adjusting your gaze and non-apologetically looking around like there must be something better than what is happening right in front of you in another corner of the room. No in my opinion manners are, and well should be, a given.

I’m more interested in how many questions and what kind of questions you can ask a new acquaintance. In most instances I say ask away without abandon. I mean of course let’s not go overboard and ask things about weights and measurements. We are not working for the governmental department of statistics or taking a census. But stuff that you might want to know about a new presence in your life is to me fair game to talk about. And if you are asked something out of bounds don’t pussy foot around about it, just giggle and say, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

Like just the other day when I met a few what I now call new friends. We had a very nice chit chat. I am just a chitty chatty kinda gal. Just start my chitty and I will chatty like there is no tomorrow. Anyway…

I now know that one has been married over 50 years and the other one has never been married. I would not have known that if I hadn’t asked. But I didn’t consider it being noisy, I just wanted to know why this new friend said they were single. I thought it only natural to ask why. I was ready to talk about the death of a loved one. Or go on to ask more questions about divorce. But to my amazement neither of these scenarios fit the bill. I met someone who has been single throughout adulthood. Even though there had been a few close calls along the way, I know that because I asked, marriage eluded and singlehood stuck. Oh I am here to tell you that I wanted to ask like a mountain more questions about lifelong single life, but my manners kicked in and the subject matter moved on to loads of other good conversation.

So friendly fact finding is fun. Just when you think you know all there is to know about someone close to you a new factoid will reveal itself. My other half and I have been what some have said attached at the hip for a long, long time. I was going to put three longs there but that seemed over kill. Just know that that third long was right on the tips of my fingers—scratching at the keyboard. Let’s three leg it along. Get it? Attached at the hip, three legged. Oh, another interesting visual.

You would think that we would have reached the full mark on knowing everything about each other long ago. But just recently I let it slide that I feel there is a very slim chance, that I might think, that it is quite possible, to use too much garlic in some dishes. Well you would have thought that I had single handedly sunk the Titanic since after my statement it felt as though an iceberg came floating through our kitchen. I said that I feel that there is a chance to add so much garlic to a dish that is being concocted that it could peel off the roof of your mouth. I admit I should not have said it while gobbling down some of his wonderful potato/kale soup made now with just a hint of garlic and truly is amazing. So see you learn something new about someone even after a long, long, a-hem long time.

I look forward to meeting and sharing with people. Old and new friends. Remember that if you want to know something about someone for goodness sakes go to the horse’s mouth. If you take the chance to find out something about someone by asking someone else? Just figure you are talking to the other end of the horse. Happy friendly fact finding my friend.

Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at