Mind Your Manners, New Jersey is breathtaking

Strangers Are Just Friends Who Will Arrest You

The other day, one of my Masters program professors reminded me of an old adage: Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.

Corny, sure, but it suddenly seemed like a fun challenge. In light of my landlord’s recent display of kindness (of which I am still highly suspicious), I thought maybe I, too, should adjust my attitude with this platitude.

I played out a scenario in my head first:


“Hi!” I smile while the teenaged clerk checks the price of my almond butter. Forty-seven dollars, I want to tell her. That is the going rate for dry roasted almond pulp.

“Hello,” she grimaces.

“It’s so nice to see you, Kim!” I say, eyeing her name tag and assuming my role as transient bagger. “Let me do this. You’ve had another long day.”

She keeps her eyes on the task at hand.

“How’s your mother doing?” I ask.

“Um, fine,” she replies, glancing up briefly.

“And your dad?”

Kim stops, mid-scan, and stares at me.

“Do I…do we…I’m sorry. Do I know you?”

“You do now! Did you see Sully yet?”


“I love Tom Hanks. Aren’t he and Rita Wilson so inspiring? You should really try to find a guy like that. Enough with the bad boys.”

“Who’s…Rita Wilson?”

“Just a friend we haven’t met yet!”

Then, armed with the confidence only new confidants can bring, I’d go into situations like the one I was in on Wednesday night -seeing Amy Schumer live- with guns blazing. (Not actual guns. Amy and I don’t like those.)

“Amy! Amy!!! Hi!” I shout from 17 rows back. “It’s me! Jules!”

When Amy fails to acknowledge this attempt, I stand up in my chair.

“It’s JULES! Remember the time we never met?!”

I step down from the chair and flag a security guard.

“Can you please tell Amy I’m here?”

The security guard warns me that I’ll be removed from the theater if I stand on my chair again. I nod, wait two minutes, and then sneak down the aisle towards stage left.

“Amy!!!” I whisper loudly, taking the first step onto the stage. I wave a fluorescent pink band. “I brought you a slap bracelet!”


No matter how many times I run through this in my head, I wind up in jail.

How about you? What stranger would you like to turn into a friend? (And do you think you could do it without getting arrested?)




35 thoughts on “Strangers Are Just Friends Who Will Arrest You”

  1. Amy Schumer? WHOA! How was she?
    Who is she?

    My immediate answer to your question is Sting. Or Ryan Reynolds. And of course, Tom Brady. Whoa, there are a lot of strangers I’d like to be friends with…..

    1. She is everything you could ever hope for and more!! (Did I tell you I listened to her latest book, “Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo” on the drive up to Maine? She narrates it and it has made me love her EVEN MORE!)

      I like that your list covers a variety of entertainment sectors. You should add a magician to really round things out.

  2. I’d love to become friends with Tatiana Maslany and Evelyne Brochu from Orphan Black. Amy Schumer would be awesome too! I’m not sure how this would be possible without jail time, but maybe it would be worth it? 🙂 Just kidding, I would do terrible in jail. I’ll just go on pretending that we are already friends. Much less dangerous that way!

    1. Do your imaginary friends get along? Right now Jess(ica Biel) and Justin (Timberlake) are having quite the spat, and I’m thinking of sending Amy in to lighten the mood, but I’m not sure how Britney would feel about that.

      Sometimes I wonder if I was better off with real friends.

  3. Oh wait. I actually met Maggie Smith. (And Ingrid Bergman. And Vanessa Redgrave who didn’t have me arrested but did embarrass me in front of the boy I was madly in love with at the time.) These random meetings happened in the 70s when you were allowed to go backstage, and where, if you ever went to a play with our acting teacher, he dragged you back stage so he could meet the actors.

    But Amy? Oooh that would be a blast. Well worth the jail time.

  4. I did it. I was watching a reality tv DIY challenge show on HGTV and decided I liked the chick who ended up winning. Since those shows are taped long before their air I knew she wasn’t really in my tv in real time and found her on FB. Flash forward a few months and she was in my house as a month long guest whilst we knocked out projects and scheduled/planned her nationwide handyman tour. Three years later – still friends! 🙂

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