I thought it would be easy. Don’t we old people love to talk about our memories of the past? You generally can’t get us to shut up. Yet so far I have not managed to interview anyone at all. Why won’t they talk to me?
I asked respectfully and carefully. “Nancy, I’ve so enjoyed your posts about growing up here. I’d love to ask you more about your memories of St. Johns back then. I’m writing fiction that’s set in St. Johns at that time and I want to make sure I get it right, from someone who was there. Would you have coffee with me and let me ask you some questions?” Now honestly—wouldn’t you expect that to work? Of course it would work.
I tried Nancy first (names changed, obviously) because she was already my friend on Facebook. She did accept immediately and we made a date. Then I tried Ron. He said, “I don’t know about that—I really just want to talk about St. Johns history.” I said that’s exactly what I want, to talk about St. Johns history! He said, “Let me get back to you.” End of conversation. And then he blocked me. What? My third attempt, Betty, went almost exactly the same way as Ron, except that so far she has not blocked me—I just haven’t heard from her again. Then when I messaged the first one, Nancy, to confirm our date, she said she wasn’t available at that time after all, and did not know when she would be available. And unfriended me.
They don’t even know that I’ve got a list of about 100 nosy questions to ask them.
What in Sam Hill is wrong with my approach? Why won’t they talk to me? Wouldn’t you be happy to be asked?
I am bewildered and frustrated.