I grew up in Southern California where it was sunny and warm. We thought nothing of walking down the street and saying hello, or nodding and smiling to complete strangers. It was all very casual and nobody thought a thing about it.
Then I moved to the Chicago area and boy was I out of place. People there didn’t say hello to strangers. No way, no how. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Even those in the same apartment building would make sudden and erratic detours in order to avoid greeting someone. I thought a couple of times they were going to call the cops because in their wildest imagination they were convinced I was going to mug them. Or I’d developed an advanced case of leprosy.
In Texas it’s a mixed bag. So many people have moved here from all over the country that we get all kinds. Some will return a smile, some will break their necks in order to keep from looking you in the eye. I guess it all depends on where you grew up. You can’t believe how interesting the pattern in the carpet suddenly becomes when they see someone coming toward them. Or…my all time favorite…poof, I'm invisible.
I hate it when someone looks right through me. My kids used to do that when they were telling less than the truth. It was a dead give away.
What are all these people afraid of? Looking someone in the eye is not a lifetime commitment. At least it wasn’t when I was growing up. Maybe I’m just weird. But at least I’m harmless.