Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Diversion

Or, Why People from the Midwest Should Undergo Training before Moving to a Large City:

I am walking to the metro from Gallaudet University, where I was attending TFA professional development. I pass two middle-aged men waiting for a bus. I make eye contact, and because I am from SE Ohio, I smile.

Man 1: How you doing?
Me: I'm good, thanks.
Man 1: Lookin' good.



Sarah (your sister) said...

Also a reason that Dad's talk-to-anyone skill is...less effective for us.

justjuliebean said...

You'll learn very quickly not to smile at people, or apologize to panhandlers for not giving them money. It's hard for some at first. A friend came and visited me, from the burbs, and everyone was panhandled him, and one guy, when he said "no, sorry", the guy said "well, can I f*ck your b%tch, then?" My friend almost kicked his ass, but I was irritated because I had told him to stop apologizing or acknowledging them. You learn quickly. I just moved to a smaller city, almost a suburb, and I'm having to unwind a little, lots of people say hi and smile, and it's friendlier than I'm used to.

julie said...

Oh, by the way, if they're sizing you up, to hit on you, or possibly see if you're worth robbing, generally they'll ask for the time, or try to engage you in conversation. You can hopefully tell when this is happening, and if you know the time, say it and don't engage, but don't look around for your cell phone or be too friendly. I've lived in crappy neighborhoods 20 years, not been robbed or attacked, and it's because I'm unapproachable, unfriendly, not an easy target. Hopefully, your new town isn't as sketchy as mine.

I Hate to Weight said...

years ago, johnny carson (that was A LOT of years ago) joked that when you're in a big city and you're scared, just start singing and absolutely no one will bother you.

you know what, it's absolutely true.

lisalisa said...


Cammy said...

When I was in a Big Northern City for an internship a couple of summers ago, I consistently got suspicious looks and averted eyes because, being the Good Southern Girl that I am, I make eye contact and smile at everyone, no matter how terrible my day has been. Apparently that made me weird, although I never was mugged. Cultures w/in cultures, I guess, right?

I Hate to Weight said...

hey lisa, how are you? hope you're having some good days -- if you're not, let us know.

i'm thinking of some of my really rough years, practically careerwise, after school. i had awful jobs and went home every day, beaten down and terrified.

hope you're having a peaceful weekend.