Friday, April 12, 2013

The Friday Five

Last night, my friend and I were chatting about the levels of friendliness in other parts of the country.

She's from the Midwest. My experience is Midwesterners are very friendly.

I'm from New England, home of the Yankees, the original ones. The ones who came to this country on the Mayflower in 1620. As a general, sweeping rule Yankees are cold. If you move into a new community, you're not considered a real member until the first person you ever met when you moved in dies, or you have five generations planted in the ground, which ever comes first.

I'm also conservative. I don't have an inner child, I have an inner Puritan. So, some things that make my little, inner Puritan positively scream.

1. It seems the accepted norm for greeting people nowadays is a hug. Nothing freaks me out more than a hug from a stranger. If you're not a family member or close friend, don't touch me.

2. Seven years ago, I visited my Midwest friend in the Land of Here There Be Dragons, and we were waiting to board a riverboat for a brunch cruise on the Mississippi River. I was wearing a pair of buff, suede slip-ons. Suddenly, I was rushed by a herd of elderly women yelling "Ooooh, love your shoes! Where did you get them?" And then they bent down and began petting and fondling my shoes! My little, inner Puritan is still rocking in a corner and chanting, "Thee will be alright. Thee will be alright."

3. I have never had a massage at a spa. Nor will I ever. No surprise there.

4. While waiting in long lines at stores or banks, strangers share with me some intimate details of their lives. Himself is amazed at what strangers tell me. I don't want to know about your gall stones or to see your appendectomy scar. And I'm never sure about the proper etiquette in these situations. Is it proper to stick my fingers in my ears and sing, "la la, la la la"?

5. At banks or places of business, people just assume they can use the diminutive of my first name. Only my ma has that privilege.

When you meet people for the first time, are you a natural hugger or are you reserved?


  1. You have an inner Puritan? I love that!

    #4 My hubby is amazed at the things complete strangers tell me too. I often sign lalalala in my head too.

    And I am a natural hugger. However, I wouldn't hug a stranger and I try to respect those who are not huggers. But my family knows they will get a hug.

  2. Reserved...yep, I'm definitely reserved. I'm okay with friends and family, but otherwise...nope! I had to see a Chiropractor back along and worried like you wouldn't believe, luckily he used some sort of gadget thing instead of hands!!

  3. I've now lived away from New England longer than I lived there. HOWEVER, I spent my formative years there, so in an extreme emotional moment (anger, frustration, fear) I revert right back to bonnet wearing, buckle-shoe wearing, turkey shooting Puritanical glory - I carry a pokkabook, water comes from the spigot and if I don't like you, don't even think of getting within arms length, never mind trying a hug or I may break out a musket.

  4. Lol, Cos, and didn't we have to demonstrate the proper New England hug at conference?

  5. No so much on the hugging thing. A handshake is good. Or even a wave. :)

  6. I'm not a hugger either, but I would definitely hug you for the awesome surprise I got in the mail today! Thank you! Be sure to check out my blog on Monday for a fun post. :)

  7. Oh boy! I’m with you on soooooo many of these! If you don’t know mw then you don’t have the right to: touch me anywhere except my hand, to shake it; call me by anything other than my surname; tell me intimate stories, facts, or other personal details of your life. (You and I must have a ‘look’ that makes people confide in us! LOL) I respect other people’s ‘personal space’ I expect then same in return! Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to rant!

  8. Strangers are allowed to approach with a smile and comment on the weather, that should be enough for anyone! I still live to live with some Victorian values of decorum over the pond in old England!!