Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trying to be nice...

There's a surprising twist at the end of this, so don't skip ahead and don't stop in the middle. I believe in you; you can endure this lengthy blog. :)

The other day, when I was riding home from work on the bus, a guy sat beside me once the passenger that was originally beside me got off at his/her stop.

[I always look out the window when I'm on the bus, because I'm somewhat weary of strangers, and I just like the solace of watching the scenery glide by.]

Anyway, he came and sat beside me and started talking to me. I don't remember what he said, but I was in a hurry to get off the bus after our conversation (remember, I'm weary of strangers).

I couple weeks later, he sat beside me again, and actually began a short conversation. A week or two after that, he told me that he didn't have any local friends, and that his entire family was still in India.

At this point, my heart went out to the young man (who a later calculated to be at least 35 years old - talk about awkward). I'm no "friendship-denyer", so I told him that we could be friends. The Bible doesn't teach me to completely deny friendship to those who don't know Christ, at least not based on how I understand it.

Anywho, we exchanged numbers, and decided to hang out. I just can't stand the thought of someone being around so many people, and still feeling alone. That's just not fair.

So we met up for pizza. It took me 3 days to convince this person that I'd prefer to meet him somewhere rather than him picking me up or me picking him up. His argument was that in India, friendship meant that people hung out together and they trusted each other with no reservations. I'm not sure whether I completely believe that, but its fine. The point was that I had only known him for a week or so, with only very short conversations transpiring during that time frame.

I was NOT about to get in his car.

Okay, so we met for pizza, and he told me about his career and stuff. I talked all of 10 minutes during that whole evening which lasted about 2 hours. Also, we ordered a large pizza, of which he ate none...not even a slice.

Then it started.

He tried to convince me to take the pizza home (Attempts #1-13). I didn't want the pizza. That wasn't okay with him. He wouldn't accept me not taking the pizza home. After refusing to take the pizza in discussion, he tried to hand it to me as we left the restaurant. I guess he thought my words were futile, or it was opposite day.

When I was about to go home, he tried to give it to me again (attempt #14-16). Again, I refused it.

Once I arrived home, guess who was there! It was him, trying to give me the pizza out of his cracked car window (attempt #17). I was on the phone, but I just shook my head and kept walking towards my place.

I was VERY uncomfortable at this point. Instead of going into my apartment (which he would have easily been able to see from where his car was positioned), I went past my place, to the other end of the building. He couldn't see me at this point, because I was basically behind the building (in a pretty well-lit area).

I was on the phone with a buddy who only lives a few minutes from my place, and he could tell from my voice that I was very uncomfortable. I didn't tell him what was going on at this point, because I wasn't sure whether the guy had gotten out of his car and approached the building.

I prayed to myself, because I had placed myself in quite the predicament, and I didn't know what to do.

The guy had called my cell 4 or 5 times since I had arrived at home. I didn't click over though for obvious reasons.

Finally, after about fifteen minutes of standing out in the cold, waiting for a safe moment for me to escape the cover of darkness and slip into my apartment unnoticed, I did.

I was very relieved.

I explained the story to my friend on the phone, and he did his best to calm me down. It was an interesting night, but I'm glad its over, and I'm thankful for God's protection.

The guy ended up apologizing several times. He really didn't find any error in his actions. I forgave him, but I'll be a whole lot more careful in the future. I failed to entertain the thought that maybe he didn't have friends for a reason.

He's not crazy (I felt like I needed to state that), he's just a little clueless as to what is and isn't okay...boundaries.

We're still cool though (I guess).

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