The driver picked me up first, so for a few minutes there was that awkward thing in the air.  You know, that thing when two people have met before, but don’t really know each other or what to say.  So there’s an uneasiness in the conversation.

We were on our way to pick up my friend, then off to a fun event on a freezing Saturday night.  He drives her to and from events in her very busy NYC life, so occasionally when I’m tagging along I’ll get a ride home.

He and I made some small talk.  I filled the intermittent silences by checking messages on my phone.  Then I decided to be present and forget the diversions and have a conversation like a normal person.

“So, are you married?”

I don’t like small talk.  I’d rather you tell me how you feel about things.  And, I’d much rather get right into your business.

“No,” he said in his Russian accent.  “Not anymore.”

We talked a little about how that marriage wasn’t for him, and about his current long-term girlfriend and how that relationship was good.

I asked him if she wanted to get married.

He laughed.  Then he said, almost wearily, “everyone wants to get married.”

This made him giggle.

“Well, I don’t know if I do,” I said.  “It’s never been my thing.  Though I suppose if I met someone amazing, I’d be open to it.”

The conversation turned to our crazy New York lives and, though making money was important, love and family are really what’s important in life.  I lamented how difficult cultivating a rich personal life has been, particularly when it comes to romantic love.

“Have you heard of the law of attraction?”

“Yes.”  Not exactly what I expected to hear from this seemingly macho guy from the other side of the world.

“Well,” he shrugged.  “Then bring it into your life.”

I hadn’t expected to be given the secret to life in the back seat of an SUV.  Unexpected wisdom in unexpected places.

Later, as he drove me home, he said something that has stayed with me.

“You really know how to handle yourself.”

Thinking back now, I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, but I do know that as he said those words, it felt like the highest compliment possible.

And just like that, I had my favorite conversations of the week.

I hope you find unexpected connections and surprising wisdom in the days ahead.

xo, with goodness and grace.