Some situations are inherently leveling for a group of people.
For instance, this week, I worked in a showroom at the High Point Furniture Market. I parked at the local shopping mall each morning, and rode a shuttle (read: bus) to and from the building I worked in. Everyone on the bus was in the same boat. Busy, a little late, and semi-awake in the mornings. Tired, anxious to get home, and in a cut-the-shit sort of mood in the evenings. I’m sharing my seat this evening with a girl about my age who is overhearing the same conversations in front and behind us, eyeballing the same over-the-top outfits, and grinning with me about the bus driver who doesn’t know how many people his bus holds.
Being in the same situation right now has built a bridge of common experience between us. She didn’t work in my showroom, I don’t know her name or where she’s from, and I’ll likely never see her again. But we are having a great time, giggling at the girl whose “professional attire” is a backless, sideless (frontless?!) dress. We are bonding, if only for a moment, because we’re in the same boat. We are having many of the same feelings- mainly, I can’t wait to get home! For me, it’s a “put on sweatpants, snuggle my kids, and let Hubby cook my dinner”. For her, it might be the same, or it might be a “put on my sparkly top and meet my girlfriends for drinks”. Either way, we aren’t home. We’re sitting on the shuttle after long days on our feet, finding anything and everything a perfect combination of slightly annoying and deliriously funny.
How much more might we be able to bond over long conversations about similar life situations, shared goals, and common interests? Instead a single instance leveling us and making us momentary friends, much closer we’d probably be if we were meeting there after a day apart, dishing about our jobs, talking about our kids’ most recent milestones and setbacks, and chatting about weekend plans.
The more you have in common with someone, the more drawn to them you often are. When two people are outgoing and funny, it can bring them together because they both might have a lot of fun. If they also both happen to be moms of kids around the same age, then even moreso. Add on a few more things like a shared interest of cooking, a connection made through folks at church, and a teaching background? We’re basically besties by the end of the conversation. We’re all riding the same bus in this thing called “life”, and randomly choosing a good seat buddy can be an incredible blessing. It can take a long, bumpy ride, and turn it into an amusing, not-so-bad sort of journey.