I was Christmas shopping on Wednesday afternoon at a large department store and a lady and I were browsing knick knacks near each other when “Rockin’, Around the Christmas Tree” came over the store radio. I started humming along then tried to remember who sang it—my mind drew a blank.
I turned to the lady and said, “Do you know who sings this? Peggy Lee?”
She replied, “Nope, I don’t know.”
I chuckled and said, “I know it’s around her era—hmmm Nancy Sinatra? No. This is going to drive me crazy!” Chuckled again, then I continued browsing.
She turned her back to me and said, “I’m really not interested.”
I was really stunned. Is it possible she thought I was hitting on her?
It was BRENDA Lee, btw. 1208-11
Readers should note that the OP in this story is female and the subject line of the email submission pertained to whether the second woman was rude out of fear of lesbianism. Uhhh, if I were the second woman, that is about the last thing I’d think of so, no, I seriously doubt she even went there in her mind. Unless you were actually hitting on her which changes the whole dynamics. It is plausible the woman was a lesbian and simply had no interest in being hit on by you or anyone else.
What you did was “blather” to a stranger. Look at it this way, you two occupied the same tennis court and you served a soft volley to her as an invitation to “play” this verbal exchange. Instead of hitting it back to you, she caught it with her hand indicating she is willing to engage you verbally on a very limited scope but she promptly dropped the conversational ball with a very definite closure to this game. She was not interested in playing the verbal volley with you. You ignored this and served her another ball and she had to be more direct in communicating her unwillingness to enter into a verbal back and forth with you.
We all try conversational openers with strangers. Sometimes the other person is willing to play, sometimes they are not. It is not rude to decline to enter into a conversation with a stranger. To expect that people must respond to our verbal “serves” or else they are rude is to manipulate people into behaving the way we want them to for our momentary pleasure. Sometimes when I shop, I’m in a mood to chit chat with strangers but there are many other times I am in the shopping “zone” and I really do not want to be distracted. Verbals serves are met with a small smile, an appropriate comment (“I don’t know”, “Yes, those are pretty”) and me continuing on my business.