And They Say Goodbye
How do you act when a stranger says "Hi"? Do you say "Hi" back? Do you ignore the person?
When it's a nice day out and I'm feeling in a great fun mood I like saying "Hi" to people as I'm running errands. Since I drive 99% of the time I'm honking my horn at people walking or people waiting for the bus. I'm waving and telling them, "Hey ! How you doing?" or "Hey hey! What do you say?" Most people wave back with a look on their face that is saying, "Who in the Hell was that?!"
I guess that's understandable but what gets me is the passengers in my car. They all think I'm a nut or something. I always hear, "If you don't know them why do keep saying 'Hi' to them?" I usually answer, "Cause I'm a nice guy". I don't know if I'm really a nice guy, but I come to realize to a lot of people if you're nice, or more specifically if you act nice, you scare people more than you think.
I grew up in Ohio and have lived in Buffalo, Philadelphia, New York, Portland (Oregon) and now in West Texas. When it comes to the kindest place Portland by far had the nicest people. So nice that at first I didn't trust them. I didn't think any of them were sincere. My street smart alarm was going off in my head. I was so sure some of those nice people were up to something and they had me as their target.
Of course they didn't and it took awhile for me to feel comfortable when some fellow Oregonian would tell me, "Have a lovely day" If I was to say the same thing to a Philadelphian or a New Yorker their version of politeness would be to kindly tell me where to stick my "lovely day".
After living in Portland, I moved back to Ohio where hardly anyone ever says "Hi" walking anywhere. But strangely I felt safer. I wasn't safer by any means but I felt safer. Which brings me back to me saying "Hi" to people the other day. Did my friends in my car look strangely at me cause saying "Hi" to strangers is just plain strange? Or did they give me the look because they knew I was making strangers feel unsafe by saying 'Hi"? Maybe it's a combination of the two.
Do you find it strange when people are nice? Are people nice in your town or cities? What would you do or think if a passing motorist yelled "Hi" to you? Maybe I need to stop saying "Hi" from the car and just wait until I'm on foot. I don't know if I should though. There's some scary people out there in cars just waiting to say "Hi". "