Thursday, 15 November 2007

Life gets better when you marry American

There was a time when anonymity was attractive to me. Perhaps it was because I was a very self conscious teen/twenty something. One of my favourite places to sit was the Starbucks attached to Sainsbury’s. Whilst sipping watery bitter coffee, surrounded by the glaring tungsten lights, I would relish the anonymity.

I was jarred into thinking, Perhaps There is Another Way when I acquired a friendly American (husband) who didn’t have the hang-ups I did, and would talk to everyone. The woman at the newsagent would tell him her marital woes, the kids in the house next door would high five him on his way to work, and the rude restaurateur would let him stroke his whiney little dogs on their morning walk. At first I was worried he was breaking such a strict moral code that some authority figure would apprehend him and explain the rules, only letting him go with a warning. This clearly reveals my disturbed mind (unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg).

I let the desire for friendliness to strangers bubble away inside of me until it burst out after a big life change. My son arrived and after a slew of visitors just when you don’t need them I was suddenly alone. There is not much you can do when you have a small baby, nothing that lasts more than about 5 minutes. But you can shop, talk and walk. So that’s what I did. I knew no one in my neighbourhood. But six months of thrice a day shopping and I was suddenly chatting to the butcher, shooting the breeze with our landlord and conversing with old ladies in the park. I even made some friends.

It was because my area was full of little shops, a park and lots of communal space that I was able to do this. It was with this feeling that I decided to do something to promote local shops. And hence Wedge Card was born. You can all say ahhhh now. And we all lived happy ever after.

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