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The introverted decided to talk to a stranger


‘I’m going to talk to him. Yes. I can do this, I can do this’.

I swim everyday but I usually don’t talk to anybody when I go. Actually, that’s one of the blessings of swimming, no spontaneous chitchat that might bring me down from the clouds. The thing is: I like my clouds. They are nice and cozy, and they let me think freely, and as deeply as I want, in whatever subject I might be directing my attention at the moment. Interrupting the master class that I’m giving in any given subject to my imaginary public, in order to tell me: ‘Is not that cold today, at least the heat is coming back again’ , and expect of me to give a response, is a huge process of control in my side. I have to tell the teacher in my head not to be mad about the interruption, to remind her that that’s the way humans act, and that I should be nice, smile, and look up for a socially adequate answer, and then I end up a bit more tired than a few minutes before. And then, I might commit the mistake of letting myself go down the river, and ask the person what’s her name, and then she tells me, only to be embarrassed the next day when I find the same person, and I either don’t remember her name or her face, but she does.

It’s not the I can’t do it. I really try to focus my attention in the person, try to remember her or his most memorable physical attributes, while they are talking (which might lead to lose the thread of the conversation) , sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. For example, I recognized a neighbor the other day (at the pool locker room) because she said specifically ‘hi neighbor’ (I still haven’t asked her name). I think she’s the kind of socially experienced person that recognizes an awkward person when she sees it, and gave me a hint on purpose (God bless her).

Anyway, all this explanation is just to give an idea of why initiating a conversation with a man is a huge thing for me. I am separated, and I decided recently that I wanted to find a real, good man for me. Period. So this need of social interaction has a specific goal. And it is a good thing, be it that I find the said man or not, because it forces me to get out of the classroom in my head and talk to people, which, is good, because, well, that’s what humans do and we all need some connection.

The thing is… I couldn’t start the conversation with the man I wanted to talk to. BUT hey, I ended up talking to the guy, I’d even say it was flirting. Yeah, when someone tells you that people from your country are famous for winning a lot Miss Universe contests, and that women from there are, “with all due respect” very beautiful, I’d say that it was flirting, yes.

I ended up talking with the guy like this:

  1. Yesterday I threw away my run-down swimsuit and bought a sexy one. OK, not ultra-sexy, but good enough to see myself in the mirror and say: ‘you are looking good!’.
  2. I chose the lane next to his when I arrived (he was already in the pool, swimming) and waited for him to come back, so he could see me. I had already said ‘hi’ to the woman in my own lane (the lifesaver asked me to do so, so she would know I was there and she wouldn’t bump into me). He stopped, said ‘hi’, and continued swimming. I said ‘hi’, and then, I got in (he’d said ‘hi’ a couple of times before, and I’d said “good morning” in other occasions).
  3. I noticed that he would turn his head towards me while we crossed each other while we were swimming.
  4. It occurred to me, out of the blue, that I could stop at the end of the pool, as if I were resting. I figured that if he wanted to talk to me, he would stop too.
  5. Presto! That’s exactly what happened.

He asked me if something was wrong, since I usually never stop swimming, and I said ‘no, I’m fine’. I do not remember what else I said right away, or if he said something. I did tell him afterwards that I liked his tattoo (a dolphin in the shoulder with drops of water and ‘2017’ in numbers). He said he had it made last December because he had won the swimming marathon of several pools in the country, and that he had won in his category. “What was your category?” I asked, trying to find his age, “over 50; I’m 55”. And then I forced myself to ask “are you divorced? Because I don’t see any ring”, he answered “no, I’m not, I take out the ring when I swim”, and of course, the tiny balloon of illusion suddenly deflated, but, I tried not to let him notice. Awkwardly, I told him that I never took my ring off (not a wedding ring, another one).

Well, I did not start the conversation but I made it happen. So, 100 points for me!

Until the next post.


You did more than I could've ever done! Good work! I used to swim laps 4-5 times a week for a mile but never got friendly with anyone else except for one woman who was very friendly. I was using snorkel gear too and got asked questions about my gear which I would answer but guess I'm just not the sociable type. I could never be as forward as you were though.
I have to talk to strangers , it's a situation I've got forced into .
It's not getting any easier after 8 months .

I went to work today thinking to myself, what idiot puts someone like me in a shop .

I'm only there because the owner is dying.and I'm covering
Its the only thing that would make end up like this .

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