I will never understand how people can pass you on the street, look right at you, and act as if you're not even there. Not a smile or a nod or a hello. Seriously? Maybe I’m overly nice, (well, duh) but I would never pass someone without some form of acknowledgement. Even if it's one of my various phony smiles.
I mean, we’re both occupying the same space for that one second in time. We’ve made a connection. How can you not recognize that person you’re sharing it with in some form of communication? It's just not right.
I live in a gated community...but we have no gates. (We would have gates if it was an actual gated community). It’s a small development, with a pool and recreation area located in the center of the complex. Everyone is out and about all the time, almost like a Stepford neighborhood.
They’re either gardening, pushing their kids in strollers, watching their older kids playing ball in the streets, or gossiping about God only knows what. If you’re outside at all, you know the people on your street. You see them all the time. You would think there would be a sense of camaraderie of sorts.
I walk my dog at least a couple of times a day and see my neighbors on a regular basis, but I can’t tell you how many people totally ignore me when I pass them. I just can’t figure out why anyone would choose to do that. There's one family where the entire family acts as if I'm invisible when I'm right in front of them, as they walk by with their dog. I smile, they don't. I say hi, they don't. Then when they get to the house next to mine, they have a full blown conversation with the dad, in his driveway. Are you f**king kidding me? I had originally thought that they treated everyone the same, until I witnessed them laughing and cajoling with the dad and his family. Pretty frickin' nervy, if you ask me. Well, you didn't ask me, but I'm telling you anyway.
The same thing happened with this guy who walks his dog by my house every day. I see him when I'm out with my dog or just when I'm outside my house doing whatever it is I'm doing. He either keeps his head down or looks straight ahead, knowing full well I'm there, but keeps walking. Sometimes he looks at me without even a curve of his lips in an upward movement, like he's looking right through me. It's mind blowing.
Then one day, I was standing there talking with one of my friendly neighbors and he starts having a conversation with her. And still doesn't acknowledge me, even after I said hello. Really? I'm starting to get a complex. I'm like the nicest, friendliest person I know. What is going on? Why don't these people see that?
There is a special connection with the people who live in the houses on either side of you. At least there should be. They are like family. They are like sisters because they’re so close to you; right next to you; side by side. They are your siblings and the houses surrounding them are like cousins. And the houses on the other streets are like cousins once removed. But we are all from the same family. The ‘Non-Gated Community’ family and family should acknowledge each other. Even if you don’t like each other, be cordial. You're distant cousins for God's sake. Aside from just being the respectful thing to do…you never know when you may need that person in an emergency. Why wouldn’t you want to be nice? It's hurtful.
Have you ever gotten into an elevator and you are all alone, but on the next stop someone comes in, looks directly at you, and doesn’t even nod? Seriously? Did they not see me? I mean I'm right here. I'm right smack in the middle of the elevator in their line of vision as they walk in, and they act like I'm Casper. Then we stand there with the musak playing, or whatever it's called now, all fidgety and uncomfortable, acting like there's no one else in our space. C'mon people...I'm right here. Give me something.
I especially don't understand it when you have something in common with others and they still don't acknowledge you. I've been in doctor's waiting rooms the size of my closet, practically on top of the other patient waiting, and not a word. I'm ready to go sit on their lap and ask them to tell me about themselves but I contain myself. That may not be legal. Or at the very least, moral. But we have something in common, besides waiting an inordinately ridiculous amount of time to see the doctor. We have ailments. Why not discuss them to pass the time. Although I have to tell you, I did sit next to a very nice man who proceeded to tell me how his medicines are giving him a ton of gas and causing him constipation, which is giving him hemorrhoids that are really itchy. I responded, "Thanks for sharing" and the entire doctor's office, which was filled with about 20 waiting patients, cracked up. I think they were aghast that this man was divulging this deeply intimate, personal info to me, a complete stranger, within 5 seconds of us communicating and they were relieved that I said something. It didn't make him stop though. He proceeded to tell me ALL his problems but luckily he was called into the examining room shortly after. That loosened up the tension in the waiting room and people began to chat, which was very nice. A little too much information from that guy maybe, but nonetheless, it was better than sitting in that uncomfortable silence.
The veterinarian's office is a place where you would think people would be the friendliest. We all have a love for pets. Although I'm beginning to think some of these people would prefer not to have their pets at all...or shouldn't have them. But it's a built-in conversation piece; a common bond. As soon as I walk into the vets office, if a dog comes up to me, I pet it and practically drool all over it cause I love dogs so much. But some of these people are so rude. They pull their dogs away, even though I've made it perfectly clear that it's fine if they come up to me, yet they give ME a dirty look. I'm sorry...was I humping your dog and didn't realize it? Don't give ME the look. I'm the one being friendly back. Why wouldn't you love another dog lover? Well, maybe 'love' is too strong, but at least be cordial. I just don't get it. While I'm waiting I will try to stir up conversation asking questions about their dog but get one word answers. So I don't continue because I don't want to be annoying, (although if you ask my kids, I'm like the most annoying person on the planet...and proud of it!)
Maybe I'm just a chatty, friendly, annoying person. Or maybe too many people aren't. People walk around like they have blinders on. I don't understand it. Don't get me wrong...there are a ton of wonderfully, nice, welcoming people in this world. Strangers who do acknowledge your existence, just in passing. Strangers who do have conversations with you even though they've never seen you before. Strangers who just want to say...let's be strangers together...just for this moment in time.