Thursday, June 23, 2011


Now, I am a friendly person. I smile at strangers and will talk to just about anyone. Eye contact  is normal. I tend to assume everyone is nice and they have to prove they are not. So why was the other day not normal??

The town I live next to has two buildings and one of those is closed.  The city limits signs are less than a tenth of a mile apart and I live 500 feet past the west sign.  I have not been kidding when I called this, tiny town Arkansas.   Arkansas is riddled with towns of under 300 people.  Part of the charm I love.  

So any shopping is about 15 minutes away in a little bit bigger tiny town. More serious shopping is about an hour and a half drive in either direction and if we really want something, often we travel to Branson Missouri which is a day trip. 

That day, I needed  some things the closer town didn't supply so I made the trip to the next town.  I haven't been to this town in a long time due to the gas prices and was looking forward to the trip. What happened was a bit confusing.

One of the cool things  about small town people is their friendliness and manners. Brief smiles, acknowledgment, and nods are common.  If you almost collide around the corner of a super market, both parties say "excuse me" accompanied by a sheepish grin.   I was used to this and loved it.

What I received in that next town took it to another level.  Every store I went into, dozens of people gave me warm greetings and huge smiles, not the brief lip twitches and nods I was used to.  I have been to this town before but this reaction was a first.

After this went on for a while, I began to suspect that perhaps in haste to dress, I had my clothes inside out like I had done once before with some shorts. 

Maybe there was a big booger on my nose, a milk mustache, some kale stuck in my teeth or something that shouldn't be was showing. Had I really missed my lip badly when I put on my lipstick?

I was in Walmart at the time so  I  began to think  "the Walmart shopper photos."  How I hoped I wouldn't see myself in the next batch of emails with the photos of strange people.

A thorough inspection in the ladies room mirror offered nothing that I could see that was out of whack.  Then I began to relax and enjoy the almost palpable friendliness. 

How I wish I had a punch line here but I don't. For some reason on that day, a town that has pretty much ignored me in the past, was my best friend for  the day.  Perhaps, I looked like someone familiar. I don't know.

Has this ever happened to you?? Do you have an idea of what happened?


  1. It must have happened to me in the past, but I just can't remember any such incident. I love it when people are smiling and happy to see me. Maybe it was something in the air! Whatever, I would enjoy it too... :-)

  2. Hm...maybe you were smiling more than usual and they just responded? You'd think if they thought you were someone else they would have called you by name. Very strange.

  3. Love your story...I think sometimes it is YOU who gives off this wonderful energy, and people feel it before they see it...

  4. That has never happened to me. Even though I live in a small town, people usually avoid eye contact and rush about in their own world. How nice that everyone slowed down and welcomed their fellow shoppers and neighbors.

  5. In our little area you wave to anyone and everyone on the back roads...and going to the bank, is like going to "Cheers"....everybody knows your name....i love it..!!
    Beats south Florida where you ID for everything.....


  6. I had to be you!!! Ooh gosh, is that a song????

  7. I'm thinking it must have been something in the air like DJan said. I had to go to Columbia yesterday to the chiropractor and then while in town I went to a few places shopping for my son's birthday. I'm one who always smiles at people, too, and yesterday they actually smiled back! I wasn't used to that, esp. in Columbia! It's funny that you posted this when I had been wondering what happened yesterday, did I look friendlier than usual or what? LOL It made a nice change for sure, because even in my small town people in the grocery store will look the other way when you go wheeling by with your cart. It can make a friendly person paranoid! Ha!

  8. I have learned to look for leadings from God in the most everyday occurrences. What was His message to you in this instance? God bless.

  9. I guess it was just YOUR day! and while yeah, I might have been wondering if something was amiss, but since you discovered it wasn't perhaps it was just a sunny day and people were feeling good :) I think too, since you were excited about the trip, it reflected in your body language...

  10. Sounds like you had a great day, Patti! I agree with some others commenting that you may have given off happy, friendly vibes and that prompted so many smiles. A great lesson for us all!

  11. Ah, you went on the designated Friendly Oh Sure Day.
    Funny that everyone being friendly has you wondering.

  12. I have noticed on particularly beautiful days, when it's not too hot and the sky is a perfect blue people are incredibly friendly. Everyone is smiling at everyone. Maybe it was one of those days when the friendliness was in the air. Or, maybe you were the blue sky and sunshine that day!

  13. I'm with everyone else.....must have been your happy energy!!!!! Why I can't even see you but you make ME smile!

  14. Perhaps it was the contentment with life that I would think radiates from you face. You do seem to have reached a point in life where you are your own person and happy to be where you are. I think this mindset reflects itself in a person face and bearing.

  15. About 10 years ago, I spent about 30 minutes in an antique store and ended up purchasing a few items. The sales people were extremely helpful and we even talked about the history behind my purchases. When I returned to my car, I looked in the rear-view mirror and was horrified to see an aqua slash of toothpaste decorating my cheek.

  16. I have never noticed that aspect of shopping, but I do on occasion, see so many acquaintances in one day, that I think I am possible going to die in the next few days. You know you run into every one you haven't seen for years.

  17. Was it Bob Marley who sang, "Don't Worry. Be Happy"? Relax & enjoy it & keep spreading your sunshine, Sunshine!

  18. You must have been sending out the friendly vibe to have it reflected back at you. A saw a sign posted on on office wall a while ago--"even a simple smile can be an act of charity"

  19. I have noticed that on slow days the merchants take time to smile more, prolong greetings, even chit chat. This is especially true on cold winter days. Just enjoy the experience and don't attempt to over-analyze!

  20. Everyone got up on the right side of the bed that day?

    It was Be Nice To People You Don't See Everyday Day?

    Perhaps you looked friendlier then usual? LOL Just kidding, I know you're always friendly.

    Just a good ole kind of day.

  21. Did you look up in the sky and see 2 moons? Twilight Zone.

    The people were most likely feeling your warm, loving aura. They were just responding to your charm. Serious. Some times, on purpose, I put on a big smile and say hello to strangers on the street and there is hardly a person who won't smile back or say "hi."
    Think of how many people's lives you put a little sunshine in that day.

  22. You must have had your "come hither" face on that

  23. What a nice surprise for you.

  24. Djan,
    Thanks, it was fun if a bit odd. Not complaining, just wondering.

    It was kind of like I was some one they knew, just not well. I agree.

    Madame Samm,
    Thank you for stopping by and for commenting. I would like to believe your version.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Gee, I am sorry your town is not more friendly. My closest town is friendly but not nearly like this one was. It really made for a nice day.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    In Florida, you need to go inland. Much friendlier there. I left a similar small towns there called Ft. Drum and Okeechobee.

    Oh darn, now that song will be in my head today. Thanks.

    Gosh, your and S V Breeze have similar towns. Wasn't it something? Maybe there was something in the air. Happy pollen.

    I guess that all people are nice, you just have to open up to them.

    Could be. It was a beautiful day if a bit warm.

    Dr. Kathy,
    Wish I knew how to repeat it, it was certainly a pleasant day.

    It was the degree of friendliness that had me wondering. Think we ought to make FOS Day a regular.

    You are likely right about the day, I just wish we had more of them so they wouldn't strange but normal.

    Aww, aren't you sweet. Sure would be nice to have more of those days.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Wouldn't that be nice and would be really great if it could be taught. Then everyone could be happy.

    How funny, and you know you were the topic of conversation around that water cooler.You might have even made a blog.

    Ha, I have had days like that but never thought that. Would kind of make one wonder.

    Aw gee thanks. Now that song will roll around in my head. At least it replaced the one turquoisemoon planted.

    If I was, I wish I knew how to do it on command.
    That is a true quote.

    I know on slow days I used to hold on to my customers longer. You might have a point.

    You may be right.Think we ought to make that type of day a national weekly day. Wednesday would work for me.

    It did have a dream like quality. I don't know how many I touched but I know a lot put sunshine in my day.

    He he, I did have some interesting looks from the codger group.

  25. Girlfriend I just read this part of your post to Christi....

    Maybe there was a big booger on my nose, a milk mustache, some kale stuck in my teeth or something that shouldn't be was showing. Had I really missed my lip badly when I put on my lipstick?

    Dang your funny! Hahahaha..I would imagine that your happiness was showing so that everyone around you picked up on it.

    Can't wait to hear about your next trip there. lol

  26. Oh yes, yes, yes! I had to check the date of your post because on June 18th, when we were traveling from Grant Village in Yellowstone, there were an uncommon amount of super kind, very gracious and friendly people. My mother and aunt were really impressed with how wonderful people were... ALL day... everywhere we went. Were all the moons and stars and sun aligned that day? It was such a day to treasure. Actually people were wonderful everywhere we went, but that day was EXTRA special. I just love it. You've just made me want to go to Arkansas.

  27. Joy is contagious. I think you just spread it around that day. :) blessings, marlene

  28. What a great time you had. I love it when I go shop and people are friendly and smile. If you come across in person like you do on your blog posts then how could anyone not smile and be friendly to you sweet Patti. Our nearest Wal*mart is about 4 miles away. Every time we go there are a lot of smiling friendly people...not everyone but more than we see at other places we go shop. Hugs

  29. Here's my theory and I think it is a pretty good one. Why wouldn't I think that? hmmm...
    The mayor was bored with all the extra money he had laying around in the city coffers and had Zig Ziegler come to town; is he still alive? hmmm.... if he's not that makes this scenario that much more amazing. Anyway, after Zig got to town, the mayor invited all the town folks to hear Zig talk. Zig gave a greaat motivational talk on how to win friends and influence people....wait a minute that was Dale Carnegie that had that speech and I know he's dead....that's all I got – sorry!

  30. Good weather? First official day of Summer? I know that when someone gives you a big smile (as you say that you do) it is almost impossible not to smile back!!
    Glad you had a wonderful day!!

  31. I'm going with the weather theory. I found people in Seatle/Puget Sound area very unsmiling and depressed. Many all the gloomy weather has its effect.

  32. I'm sure if I met you I would smile, etc. I try to be very courteous in WM, as I may have to request some tall local to reach an item for me. And the same for reaching clear to the back of a shelf, especially the bottom shelf, for the last item.

    There isn't much shopping in my tiny AR town. TOurism has been off for a number of years. We do have a grocery store -- small AR chain here, and a successful liquor store. One of my delights is to go by the camping sites on holidays and count the tenants. It I lose count it is a good day for the town as it means some business for tiny town, even if it is just a 6-pack of whatever, or milk jug or 1 gallon of gas.

    Since I am short and somewhat heavy, most people seem to ignore me. I used to ride a cart and was a pain in the ass for anybody in any given aisle. Thank GOd for new knees; the card is gone, but I really meet nice people while I was riding the cart, offering to help me.

    I enjoy shopping and seeing people. I talk to almost everybody who starts a conversation. I don't usually start it, but I sure do a good job of continuing it!

  33. Hi Patti,

    I bet it was your "vibe". You were sending out happiness and friendliness, and they were responding. I have had days like that before. On other days, I must be pretty scary looking though, lol.

    I remember once, when I first fell in love and was walking down the mall, everybody smiled and said hi.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving comments when I was gone, Patti ... you are such and encouragement to me.

    Kathy M.

  34. Yes it happens all the time here where I live. I remember the very first time we lived here, my husband and I went for a stroll in our neighbourhood. Everyone we met said "Hello"or "Good evening"and I said the same, whereupon my husband looked in surprise at me, asking :"Do you know all these people already? We have only just moved to this place!"I said that's the way they do it here.And every time when I go shopping people smile and say "Hello".

  35. I suspect that the friendly folk you met were just mirrors -- reflecting what they saw. Whatever the cause, that was a lovely experience.

  36. This is a lovely story and I can see why it would be surprising and/or make you wonder about what might be!
    I can't say this has ever happened to me....But it sounds like such a nice thing, I wish it had!

  37. I hope you aren't on the FBI ten most wanted list. Just kidding. You could be the look alike of the girlfriend of someone on the list. Dianne

  38. Maybe they've got the internet and have discovered and love your blog.. You're Famous!! :)

  39. Lynn,
    Oops, you must have snuck in while I was commenting. Yes, it was a pleasant day.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Glad to have found your funny bone Maggie.
    The next trip will let me know if it is fluke or fact.

    I am so glad that someone else had the same experience. The stars must have been lined up perfectly. That is what I meant. Most days people are nice, they were just extra nice that day.

    I know I caught a big dose from them.

    I agree, our Walmart is like a social gathering place. Not much else going on in town.

    Ha ha. Well I had to look Ziggy up and he still lives, at 84 and is still motivating people. He could have just been there.

    It wasn't the first day of summer but close enough. A smile is like a yawn isn't it. Really hard not to respond.

    Gosh that is sad for that is such beautiful country but it does rain a lot.

    Had to laugh at your "successful liquor store." I am sure a lot of the success comes from my dry county.
    When I broke my leg I had to use one of those carts. Wow could I shop fast in one. Glad you are back on your feet however.

    Oregon gifts,
    You are probably right Kathy. It seems to be the general consensus. I know when I have a definite goal with my shopping, not so much with the smiles.

    Reader Wil,
    You live in a lovely place also Wil. I love people that trust and project good will. It makes life so pleasant.

    Aw aren't you sweet. I'll bet you find the same thing where you are. Arkansans really are friendly.

    Probably in large cities like you have lived in, there is too much distrust. That is the beauty of small towns--trust.

    You mean like that mobster they just caught by posting his girl friends picture?? Now that would be interesting.

    Ha ha, That would account for maybe two of them but not the dozens that I saw. Even my neighbors don't know I blog.

  40. I guess this is a two way street.

    I work at a little market (probably not far from you), and there were many, many times when I - as a welcoming employee - smiled and tried to be happy to see certain customers, to end up pissed off with their reactions.

    I blame the moon... just for the sake of it.

  41. I'll bet it was you! Usually when I read your blog I smile too. You must have been radiating yourself outward.

    Does feel good though, doesn't it?

  42. Patti, all these comments are very lovely, but I have figured out what really happened:

    Your meter reader lives in that town and was in the store sharing his experience from May 19. Everyone was loving the image of you on the treadmill hollering

    "Oh, oh, oh, get in the action-feel the attraction
    Color my hair-do what I dare
    Oh, oh, oh, I wanna be free-yeah, to feel the way I feel
    Man! I feel like a woman!"

    Doncha think so???
    (I've just stumbled upon your blog & am glad to have found you--you are a hoot!)

    --Patricia Lichen,

  43. Nope not around here, people are just not that friendly, glad you enjoyed the friendship. Reminds me of my next book to read. Friendship Bread. Story around the Amish friendship bread starter, are you familiar with it?

  44. I do tend to be recognised when I go out because of the extrovert car I drive and what I wear, but often the looks are not warm and friendly. :D

    I'm glad you got so much attention! I'm sure it made your day!

  45. I wonder if with the economy the way it is that store clerks are being told to be extra friendly to shoppers? Not that you don't more than deserve for folks to be friendly to you, since you are so friendly yourself, but I would wonder myself if I was a stranger, I guess I may be a bit pessimistic at times. But didn't we have a full moon eclipse recently perhaps the friendliness is in the vibes of all at certain times.

  46. Negerigeletschte...
    Mercy. Surely there is something I can call you for short.
    Thank you so much for stopping by and I am sorry you have run into the crabby customer. I hope you have a day like I had.

    Linda Myers,
    It just reinforces my faith that we are a good people after all.

    Patricia K. Lichen
    Well bless your heart, you did read back in the files. Thank you. Ha,ha you could be right. Suppose he took a picture then posted on his own blog. That would make sense. Thank you for stopping by and welcome to TNS.

    Iowa Garden Woman,
    Yes I do remember that bread. That starter is like something alive and the end result is wonderful.

    LLCool Joe,
    I might know you right off by your cool hats. Will have to search your blog for the car. You have me curious.

    Linda Starr,
    The strange thing was that it wasn't the employees so much.It was just everyone that I passed in an aisle. It was great.

  47. I am laughing at your "Mercy!"...

    Yes, there is a first name behind that crazy title of my blog. If you are ever interested in knowing the reason for that title, you can check on my fourth post - I started end of last year. I explain it there.

    I've been visiting you for years! Remember that freezing rain we had back in 09?

    For quite a while, I checked on every customer that came into the little shop, to see if it wasn't you.

    Hope you are having a great Sunday.

  48. God may have sent them your way...

  49. Negerigeletschtempoit,
    Miriam, now I can spell that. I checked you first blog hoping that would tell me. I will search #4 now. Thanks.

    That would be a lovely thought.

  50. I've been slacking on reading posts,so I'm catching up on yours today. But yea, this has happened to me recently. I travel to a small town quite often and find that everyone there is sooo nice and friendly. They will even allow you to write a check even if you live 4 hours away!! This last trip..was total opposite. The folks were very unpleasant to me and my mother...I just blamed it on the heat.
    You must have had a glow about you that day! :-)

  51. Tina,
    Gosh, I am sorry you had a bad experience, especially after you had such good ones before. Got to be the heat.