*To heighten your experience, please read the title of this post in the manner of the “J-E-L-L-O” jingle and then carry on.
The word “hello” is only two syllables.
If you’re really feeling put out, the word “hi” is simply just one.
This means there really isn’t any reason not to say either one of those minimally syllabic words when they are thrown directly your way—even if said by a stranger. At the very least, you can finagle your lips into something that resembles a smile or nod your head in acknowledgment of said greeting.
It’s not that difficult.
However, I have noticed that there are quite a few people in this world that find the concept of saying “hello,” “thank you” and the like tantamount to reciting the Chinese National Anthem through interpretive dance.
In fact, some will go as far as to deliberately avoid making eye contact so they don’t have to flash a smile or return a greeting.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for extended chit-chat—there’s about a five minute window for that in my day—but rather just a polite “hi” if I actually made the effort myself.
For example, there are a couple of routes I take when the weather permits me to go for my walks. Depending on when I go, there are others who are evidently also creatures of habit and walk the same general route. Some are really nice and we exchange general pleasantries — “Boy, it’s hot!” or “I think that those two squirrels are humping!”— as we pass.
If nothing else, we can smile and nod and pretend not to look at the squirrels.
However, then there are a couple people who I always walk by that refuse to acknowledge my “hi” and then my second-try smile. We pass within inches of each other on the sidewalk and they act like I’m not even there.
While I’m used to being ignored in social situations and sometimes actually prefer it, I deem this repeat behavior from strangers who haven’t had the opportunity to judge me highly unacceptable.
But I’m all about solutions, people, not excuses.
So instead of getting frustrated or disheartened at the declining congeniality of societal strangers as a whole, I’ve decided to up my game. The next time a repeat offender doesn’t say “hi” back or at least try and give me a smile, I’m going to bust out my jazz hands and perform a bastardized version of “Rent” from Act 1 to the end.
All I want is one syllable or a freaking little smile, dammit.
Don’t make me bust out the jazz hands.
Like the blog? Buy the book.