Listen. I am like four essays behind. I have so much to tell you! And I will tell you all of the things sooooon…

But for today, I have just a little story + food-for-thought for you.

First, a little background…

A few weeks ago, I went to Pacific Beach (San Diego) with my Merrell fam. It’s a very walking-friendly little beach town, and the sidewalks are absolutely FULL of vacationers (and probably locals, too) walking to and from the beach, restaurants, shops, etc.

I get an odd existential feeling whenever I’m in a situation like this—which is to say, in very near proximity to many strangers. It’s a weird sort of lonely, longing feeling. I find myself completely intrigued by the people around me. I want to make eye contact, I want to say hello, I want to ask them so many questions about who they are, where they’re from, what they’re thinking…

And I’m always genuinely surprised at how few strangers are meeting my gaze back at me, saying hello, offering bits of small talk here and there, etc.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since we got back to Utah, and have been meaning to write about it (alas, there has not been time).

BUT…something interesting happened yesterday that I simply MUST reflect on in writing.

After a long day at UVU (first week of schoooool!!!), I stopped by Little India in American Fork to pick up takeout.

When I stepped inside the restaurant, there was nobody at the front desk, so I just took the only empty seat left on the waiting bench – between a large family, and a single man/guy, who I assumed was also there for takeout (though, it turns out he was just dining-in alone).

After I sat down, I told the guy I liked his shorts (they were pink, duh), and we exchanged a few sentences about how he was in Utah on business for Facebook (visiting the campus in Eagle Mountain).

A waiter came to take him back to his table, and just moments later, someone came out with my takeout order.

I was just getting into my car when the guy came out of the restaurant to ask if I would have a drink with him while he was in town this week. I was totally surprised, and just said something like “oh! I’m actually married, but um…yeah thanks haha!”

As he turned to jog back into the restaurant, he was like, “I had to try!”

I HAD TO TRY … 🥹 ❤

An aside – I haven’t worn a wedding ring in probably 6 years and I sing IN A WEDDING BAND and nothing like this has EVER happened to me…do some of you experience things like this regularly? If so, I have questions for you. Tell me your stories!!!

Anyway, I was too like…flabbergasted/flummoxed to think of any of the MANY questions I wish I would have asked.

Like…What is your name? Hold on – what did you tell the waiter? Did you just leave without saying anything?!? Have you done anything like this before? Do you do this kind of thing often? Tell me about another time you did it? How often does it go well? Etc. etc. etc.

And PROBABLY if I had really been present, I would have suggested that we exchange contact info AND GET A DRINK so I could ask all of these questions (as well as the regular questions you ask when trying to get to know another human).

It just felt fascinating. And rare. And I’m determined to be more present next time I happen upon a wholesome human encounter in the wild.

That’s all!

Sending love,


A Wholesome Encounter