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On a Different Level

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

A few years ago I made a late night run to pick up some domestic living supplies and in an isolated isle in the back corner of a Big Box store I found myself standing toe to toe with what appeared to be a lonely gentleman. He was also looking for the right sized light bulb at 11 PM on a weekday night. Before I could find the 120 volt 40 watt LED equivalent ceiling fan light 4 pack and make a brake for it he struck up a conversation.

Not wanting to be rude (dad taught me better) I engaged and found myself dividing my attention between the myriad of lightbulb options and learning about his sons new career and his wife’s fear of snakes. Now I’m no spring chick so I’ve played this game before and am well versed in baseline chit chat. Those of you with similar experience likely know that you can quickly tell the difference between a casual chat where you keep it low level (because hey it’s a stranger after all) and those times where you can tell THIS is as deep as this person ever gets. Not to be rude but some of us operate on a more basic level.

Now at this point I’ve found the right sized bulb but it’s just a random 2 pack and I need at least 3 but would prefer 4+ to have some backups on hand. While sneaking in the occasional “uh huh” and “oh realllllly” it occurred to me that while he and I might be on different places of the spectrum there’s nothing that says we are polar opposites. Is it possible, nay likely, that I’ve had what I thought to be deep meaningful conversations with people while they see me as a... well, an inferior mind?

Perhaps I’ve bored a brilliant mind or two while they’re just trying to pick out oranges in the fruit section or delayed the return of a brilliant neurosurgeon (you know who you are) because I wanted to talk about geocaching. It’s rather humbling to think that chances are 50% of the folks reading this are way smarter than I am and as a result are just too polite to tell me to shut my trap. Then again maybe I’m just tired and instead of fighting off sleep I should go to bed and get some sleep. 🙂 Hopefully daylight will yield the answer.


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