Friday, December 26, 2008

Sitting next to strangers...

I was reading one of my favorite Blogs, where Jim was talking about sitting next to strangers in a movie theatre, talking of linguistics. My first thought was, "I am glad he wasn't sitting next to me!" Quotative go? and Historic present? However, I then thought about my husband. He does the same thing.

No wonder my husband is so smart. Partly it's his genes, but it is also because of his curiosity. I have never seen anyone who found so many details to ask about! God help the person with an accent. Today it was a gentleman from West Africa. But there have been many others. His pretext is, "I am trying to train my ear so that I can identify accents." Yet, I think, quite understandably, he really wants to talk with someone from another country. Many times asking about an accent will lead to an evening of converation. Once, he met someone from Italy at a bookstore and invited him home to dinner.

Today we had one beer at the Bar on Buena, and the poor bartender, I think, was happy to see us leave! Question after question after question about the beers.

Before the bar, we were at the Museum of Science of Industry today, and I wonder how many people he either asked questions of or tried to teach about things. The tour guide on the U-505 Submarine (what an amazing exhibit!) got so many questions from my lovable husband that she wasn't able to answer most of them. But where he really shone was at the baby chick hatchery, explaining things to the kids. And then there was the Holiday Lights exhibit; the Lithuanian Christmas Tree had all white decorations on it, making it quite unusual. Therefore, my ever-sociable husband let everyone in that exhibit area know how wonderful that tree was!

And it goes on. He learns and learns and learns from others, and he shares much information himself. We had friends visit once who kidded that my hubs was their tour guide. Oh how he likes to show off Chicago, teach about its history (no, it wasn't Mrs. O'Leary's cow!), tell about why the front porches are all raised in the city, and take them through some of our beautiful buildings, sharing his stories.

It's not I. But it's a great way to be. I wish I were more like that.

1 comment:

Cat said...

Yup - your DH is a great tour guide of Chi-town! I always learn stuff from him. But I also want to praise you, for your sense of hospitality and your desire to listen to what other people are thinking about. You allow other people to lead the conversation, which is a great gift, as well. Takes all kinds, ya know?