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Strangers always talk to me

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Did certain moments feel awkward? Did you find the other person interesting?

Name: Celine

My age: 24
Ethnic: Vietnamese
My gender: Fem
Favourite drink: Liqueur
What is my hobbies: Looking after pets
I have tattoo: I don't have tattoos

We’re social beings. even uncomfortable conversations are good for our wellbeing.

I have just arrived home from a seemingly endless parade of trips for work, for weddings, for fun, definitely not for relaxation. Only one of the trips was by airplane, but it seemed to try and make up for that fact by sticking me in flight delay purgatory both coming and going.

Namely, why do people keep talking to me? Why there, in a place deed to be antisocial and made for the most disgruntled of personages airline passengers already 2 hours past their deated departure timewould anyone try to have an impromptu chat?

In this case, it was an upper middle-aged woman from Miami, who decided to share a photo she saw on Facebook with my husband and me, seated across from her. In the pic was a person riding a bicycle down the middle of a 6-lane highway, and we all commiserated about how insane that guy must be, and in fact anyone who voluntarily rides a bike in an urban landscape. We mentioned that we recently moved to Vermont, where riding a bike seemed like it might be a pleasant pastime, from New York City, where riding a bike seemed like a longterm suicide mission.

The chat went on for awhile, and got pretty personal. At this point another gentleman, who had sidled up to wait for a take-out order wisely opting not to sit at the iPad benchesjumped into our conversation with his own tales of parental regret.

Apparently he spoiled his now-teenaged sons, with all the sports and toys and cars they could want, and is now attempting to course-correct their upbringing by cutting off the free flow of money and objects they have grown so accustomed to. We probably passed about 45 minutes this way, much to the annoyance of those seated around us trying to enjoy a sub-par meal in silence, until finally the gentleman and the woman both got up to head to their respective gates. Once they were out of earshot my husband turned to me, his eyes wide.

And he was right. Do I look friendlier than normal? I have come to realize that I use my smile as a defense mechanism, as my default reaction to almost every situation.

A safety precaution to keep from offending or upsetting anyone who might, in turn, make things ugly. My husband, on the other hand, wears a permanent scowl as his resting face. With a thick beard hiding most of his face anyway, the impression of grumpiness is all that really manages to come through.

And my husband, though arguably fairer-skinned than I am, is Hispanic. His beard and man-bun are jet black and clearly come from the Cuban side of his family. Maybe they just pick up on the fact that he was raised in New Jersey, and my friendly backwoods mountain ways mitigate that.

The longer it gets, the more people stop him to compliment it. Old men telling him it reminds them of their own bygone beards.

Hipster chicks who are into the hirsute look. Beards are the new blank smiles, smashing social boundaries and bringing people together for awkward interactions in public places. Tori Preston is deputy editor of Pajiba.

She rarely tweets here but she promises she re all the submissions for the "Ask Pajiba Almost Anything" column at [ protected]. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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My parents always told me to never talk to strangers when I was growing up, and now I tell my 5-year-old daughter the same thing.

Up until a year agoI saw the world as a place where very few doors opened for me.

I recently got back from a month-long trip.

These words have all taken a running cliff-dive out of my mouth, and now I can never get them to go back in.

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