En route to Boston's South Station train terminal at 4:30 PM on Thursday, I stepped off a crowded curb, ready to head across a busy street. Two cars had already zoomed through a yellow light, and while I knew the walk light would soon be mine, it wasn't clear that cars would actually stop. As I stepped off the curb, the woman standing next to me said, "Don't get killed."
I was astonished. And replied, "I won't get killed, but thank you for your concern."
The woman kept talking and I realized she was talking to someone else. She didn't care if I got killed. I felt embarrassed because I assumed other commuters around me heard the exchange and knew I had responded to someone who I thought was being caring, but who in fact didn't know I existed.
Fast forward to Friday morning.
While walking from the ferry terminal to my office, again during prime commuting hours, I was talking to my future mother-in-law on the phone. I said to her, as we prepared to hang up, "Love you!"
The guy standing in front of me, a Wall Street type in a suit and topcoat, turned, smiled and waved, in a gesture of "Love you too! Thanks for caring!"
I hung up the phone and laughed.
Guess what comes around really does go around!