Redux: “Pleased to Meet You”

Why am I publishing this one again? Because it’s my blog and I’m particularly proud of it.

Puzzling (the verb) is becoming a large part of our lives now that we are “social distancing”, which is not new to me. I experienced a lot of it in high school for many reasons unrelated to any virus but, that’s a whole different topic.

Our Eiffel Tower is complete. The jigsaw puzzle version, that is. After a renewed determination, better focus on accuracy, and a couple very late-night sessions, we managed to finish in under 2 months. Compare that to a YouTube video showing a young lady completing a 500-piece puzzle in less than 8 hours. Later on I ran across a world puzzling competition where the record for assembling 500 pieces was 45 minutes! What?

We failed to order new puzzles until this past Monday, so we are now suffering from PWS, or, “puzzling withdrawal syndrome”.

This article’s title is borrowed from one of my all-time favorite songs “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones. The lyrics have been stuck in my head for about 15 years now. The song also includes the word “puzzling.” Look it up. “But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.”

Today’s puzzling (the adjective) topic is anti-immigration sentiment. This will not be a political rant/statement. I simply cannot understand it. I have enjoyed every interaction with every immigrant whom I’ve met over the years. In a couple of cases, I grew to love them like a family member. Meeting, interacting, and working with people from Poland, Palestine, Paraguay, and as far away as Pittsburgh has been a joy for me. (Full disclosure: I’ve never been to Paraguay or Pittsburgh – – – just threw those in to enhance the alliteration).

Just for a moment, let’s look at the personal traits commonly seen in most immigrants. Courageous, determined, persistent, the ability to plan-achieve goals, strong family ties, are just a few. I hired several immigrants for my business before they could converse in English. They all became outstanding employees.

About a year ago I began the habit of using every opportunity to start a casual conversation with people we commonly refer to as “strangers”; be it in grocery stores, at gas stations, or, at the health club; anywhere. Of course they’re strange! We just haven’t made an effort to talk to them, learn their name, and start a friendship. This may sound like a little bit of hippie love talk, but let me assure you that, in the past, I was really good at being interpersonally aloof and abrasive. My effort right now is to simply be more appreciative of the differences in all of us. 

Try it!

One thought on “Redux: “Pleased to Meet You”

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  1. Love this, Bob. And now I am really curious about your High school distancing experience!! I think it is certainly an unnervingly puzzling time of life…perhaps others can contribute their experiences 🙂


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