The rural hamlet of Gig Harbor isn’t precisely known for its friendliness – quite the opposite, Gentle Reader. It’s commonly said to be quite snobby – and having lived here for a good many years, I have to unabashedly agree. Further, it doesn’t exactly encourage… diversity. Self-expression. Differing from the herd. Um.
While strolling through town the other day, I happened to remember that The List demanded that I, at some point, speak to every person to cross my path for an entire day. This seemed like an appropriate time for it, as I hadn’t seen anyone until I went on my walk, and I intended to go straight home afterward. This is known as cheating. Now, being me, I was dressed in my usual uniform – for those who are unfamiliar, think a plucky young lady from about 80 years ago.
This was sure to be exciting.
The Task: Speak to everyone to cross my path for an entire day
The Execution: This was more difficult than I anticipated, but as more and more of the passersby ignored me, the more determined I was to be aggressively charming to them. “Hello!” I would brightly intone, “How do you do?”
I must say that the most negative reaction I got was commonplace complete dismissal. More frequently, I’d get a smile back – particularly from joggers, who couldn’t spare breath to chat, I’m sure – and, once or twice, a frank and friendly brief conversation. Surprisingly, I got more hellos back than I didn’t.
The Verdict: Well, I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to greet everyone I see ever again, but a cheery greeting to a stranger is no bad thing. I could stand to be more friendly to the world at large, and I really think that I’d like to be.
Also, I noticed that women were most likely to say hello back, and the older an individual was, the more inclined they were to be friendly. I don’t know what this indicates, other than perhaps elderly ladies see me as a kindred spirit.