Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friendly? I can be friendly ...

I am not predisposed to make conversation with those I consider to be strangers. Blame my Ms. Manners mother, blame my uber-polite Canadian streak, but I don't chit chat with store clerks, those with whom I am standing in line, or those seated next to me on airplanes. We aren't friends, we're victims of circumstance, and I don't presume that they're interested in me any more than I'm interested in them.

It's not that I'm rude - I say hello, please, thank you and excuse me when appropriate - but I don't want to hear how much they're dreading spending the holidays with their family, are unprepared for their sales presentation a mere four hours away, etc. I'll make the occasional exception to this rule, but, particularly now that I live on a small island with a zillion people, I'm saving my energy for the people I actually care about.

That said, one of the things about living on a small island with a zillion people is that you're forced to occasionally interact with strangers - for example, when 25 couples are squeezed into 25 tables for two that, along any other banquette in any other city might accommodate 12 (and people wonder why New York women are so thin - they have to be to get in and out between the tables!). My indigenous friends are culturally competent, and I'm warming to it occasionally. Occasionally. Don't believe me? I've got witnesses ...
  • Coat shopping this weekend: The Pastry Chef and I were making our way up the stairs at BR. There's a landing that overlooks the men's dressing rooms - not that far, breathe, ladies - and one guy was asking his male friend's opinion on a pale blue v-neck sweater - the one every man owns, that brings out the colour of his eyes. He was in the middle of an /I'm not really sure about this/ sentence, so I leaned over the railing and said, "Actually, it looks pretty good." Not exactly an Angel of America moment, but we enjoyed it, and the Chef agreed that he was cute.
  • Later that day, at the cleaners: They identify laundry by phone number, and I heard the guy behind me say "206". I couldn't help myself, I turned around and said, "Seattle?" I then discovered he was a) cute, but young, b) born and raised in 206, and c) loves the 'friendly, open people' and 'the best lifestyle in the USA'. When I mentioned the rain, and that, as an outsider, friendly and open hadn't exactly been my experience, he scoffed. Needless to say, we quickly parted ways.



  • Interesting. During 8+ years in Boston, I became convinced that I wasn't particularly friendly. After a few months in California, I realized that I'm friendly...Boston isn't. When someone in a Cambridge Stop and Shop saw my California license and asked what part I was from, I knew they must be a fellow Golden Stater - not just because of their question, but because it was the first time someone besides the cashier had spoken to me in a supermarket.

    New Yorkers, to me, are much friendlier than their New England neighbors...unless, of course, you volunteer that you're a Red Sox fan.

    By Blogger BS, at 11:16 AM  

  • No danger of that.

    By Blogger fabulous girl, at 12:40 PM  

  • One of my worst nightmares (okay, *slightly* exaggerating, but not much) is being stuck on a plane next to a chatty person. It's the open-endedness of the conversation that really bothers me - at least with a cashier, I can just sign my receipt and leave. But on a plane there's no escape! (This is why I insert my headphones at the earliest possible second AND am always reading something.)

    By Blogger winnekat, at 12:00 AM  

  • May Midwest Medved and I recommend you imbibe before flying, TK? 'Cause you're actually quite capable of friendly chatter ...

    By Blogger fabulous girl, at 10:52 AM  

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