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?
5 days ago