Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2008 Thus Far

My parents have lived in the same house for 12 years and the same city for 32, and as I have moved home on a number of occasions, I see a lot of familiar faces around town. I currently live in the greeting safe zone: if I make eye contact with a familiar face, I give the half-smile acknowledgement with a possible head nod. I have mentioned this before, but I believe that this sort of social reticence is interpreted differently depending on the height of the woman exhibiting it. Quiet short women are shy; quiet tall women are cold. I am tall, therefore I am perceived as cold. Tall white women never get a break...

Anyway, I was thinking about these factors when it came time to choose a New Year's resolution. My two options appeared to conflict.

Option1: Become ruder, but for the sake of efficiency. I have found that I get better service from businesses when I wear heels and act annoyed. When I wear flats and smile, I get the runaround. (Yes Mac store, I mean you!)

Option 2: Risk the awkward conversation (and the runaround), and start greeting the familiar faces. Go to the extra effort of learning names, risk saying the wrong name, and begin to ask questions about their families, jobs, vacations, assets, medical histories, etc.

I chose both options. I will be ruder to strangers, and friendlier to the familiar faces, and try not to be too rude to the strangers so that if they eventually become familiar faces, I do not have to take them out for coffee to apologize.

I implemented Option 2 at the gym on January 2. It was the worst possible day to begin my New Year's resolution since everyone else in the entire world was beginning their New Year's resolution to get in shape, and the gym was ridiculously crowded. I persevered, and said "hi" once and "hey" twice. I thought the results were overwhelmingly positive: I received one "hi" and two "hey"s in response. It's going to be a really good year.


Anonymous Bob W said...

So THAT explains your behavior in Big Bear. I appreciated your saying hi to me, but I thought blowing past the puppies without so much as a courtesy butt-sniffing was quite rude.

2:43 PM  

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