Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What's So Hard About Hello?

A smile, maybe a nod?  A hello, hi, or how are you possibly?  Any type of acknowledgement would be good, but instead all I get are cold stares, looks to the side, and the feeling that I’m not good enough to be said hi to.  I’m talking about my daily runs here in the suburban wasteland of outer Rochester.

Every week I try to put in 15 miles running.  Sometimes I get a little more, sometimes less.  I know it’s not much compared to the heyday of cross country when I was putting in upwards of 50-60 miles in a week, but ever since I destroyed my ankle freshman year of college I’ve never been able to do much more than 3-4 miles at a time.

When I go running, it’s usually after work, which happens to be the prime time for running in our subdivision.  I initially thought that would be a good thing.  Lots of people to say hi to and get to know, right?  I couldn’t be more wrong.

Just tonight I passed three different runners and not a single one even looked in my direction.  One even did that thing where she looks just enough away from you that she can still see what you’re doing in her peripheral vision, but doesn’t have to make eye contact.  I still said hello and tried for eye contact, but I got nothing.  No response. No nothing.

I don’t know if it’s one of the ten commandments of suburban lifestyle to be so aloof that you don’t acknowledge that other people exist, but I sure don’t fit this mold.  Growing up on a farm in the country, it was highly abnormal not to say hello to just about everyone you saw, regardless of if you knew them or not. Here in suburbia, that’s not the case at all.  I think I might have a better chance of winning the Powerball, twice, than I would of getting an honest to goodness “Hello” in this area of town.

A lot of it, if you ask me, stems from the elitist nature that this town perpetuates. There is so much money in this town and everyone is so concerned about their image that I think it’s more important for everyone to be competing with their neighbors, trying to be better than them, than it is to simply get to know them.

I don’t get it.  I’m just trying to be friendly.  Since when did being nice become such a rare trait?

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