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Daily Musings and Idle Wishes
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Xar
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Daily Musings and Idle Wishes Reply with quote

I thought this is exactly what we still lack - a thread where one can just post daily musings, no matter whether anyone replies to them or not. Just to get them out of our minds Wink

I'll start!

Yesterday I was talking with an acquaintance and we decided that the people around here are very strange. We both noticed that in most cases, people who live in the same buildings as we do - and we're talking about undergrads or grad students, here - never, ever reply to a greeting unless they know you. Even if you've met them regularly on your way back home for the past two and a half years, and you said "hello" and smiled and nodded to them every time, most of them won't even acknowledge your existence - or look at you like you're an alien.
It kind of makes me sad. In Italy, I can hardly be defined as very outgoing, but in comparison to these people, I'm the most outgoing person ever... which is actually turning out to be a disadvantage, because they don't know how to react to someone who actually is willing to talk to strangers when he meets them in the laundry room or around the building, even just to say hi.
We also noticed that this phenomenon is more prominent among women than men... I wonder whether it's because, since they are used to no one saying hi to no one else, seeing someone who actually smiles and greets you must mean that person is obviously trying to hit on you? I was told by several people I know, especially women, that there's not much in the way of chivalry here, on the part of most German men, so maybe that's why... Still, it doesn't make things any nicer... I wish I had a clue as to how to behave in order to get to know women around here without scaring them away, if that's the case.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose you're from Italy going to school in the US? If that's the case, it might just be where you're living in the US. Yes, some stereotypes are true. I've traveled extensively across the US and have lived in different states.

I grew up in Texas where everybody says hello to everybody. I moved to Louisiana where everybody knew everything about everybody. Now I'm in New Hampshire where most people are reserved, but on the whole they'll say hello to you. Then I visited Idaho one year where I learned no one says hello to strangers.

I wonder if it's more the rural area vs. the urban area. Or perhaps their parents didn't teach them manners?

But yes, I agree that those people are weird. It's just plain rude to ignore someone being polite.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool thread idea, Xar.

I don't have any musings to add today, just a quiet day of work at home and errands.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JazFusion wrote:
I suppose you're from Italy going to school in the US? If that's the case, it might just be where you're living in the US.


no worse. he's in Germany!! Shocked Wink Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucimay wrote:
JazFusion wrote:
I suppose you're from Italy going to school in the US? If that's the case, it might just be where you're living in the US.


no worse. he's in Germany!! Shocked Wink Laughing


Oh! Well then. lol I'm such a newb. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm from Massachusetts and worked a few decades in retail and always considered myself pretty friendly when it came to greeting people and good customer service skills.
But I went to Chicago several years ago on business and stopped in a 7-11 type store for a drink.
I was greeted with a hello by all 3 employees and two asked me if I needed help finding anything as I made my way 100 feet into the store.
I was laughing to myself by the time I left the store because compared to Massachusetts I thought I was on another planet they were so nice!

I've found Virginia to be much the same too.
It was one of the first things my sister told me after she moved down there.

Florida, the other NE states and California on the other hand I've found to be a bad as Mass. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VA in general is pretty friendly, I guess. DC area, not so much. My kids grew up "inside the Beltway"; then last summer, we moved to Manassas. MagickMaker has commented on how she has to remind herself that strangers who strike up conversations with her aren't exhibiting creepy, stalkerish behavior. (What have I done to my children?? Shocked)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
VA in general is pretty friendly, I guess. DC area, not so much. My kids grew up "inside the Beltway"; then last summer, we moved to Manassas. MagickMaker has commented on how she has to remind herself that strangers who strike up conversations with her aren't exhibiting creepy, stalkerish behavior. (What have I done to my children?? Shocked)


I tend to suspect that the reason why more women than men do not greet back upon being greeted, over here, is similar... because everyone is so reserved, those who greet strangers stand out dramatically (and the woman may think the guy is hitting on her, or worse). It's a fact that there is a striking difference when you're alone and when you're not. If I'm coming back home and I meet a woman from my building on the path, and I greet her, chances are she might, at most, look at me like I'm crazy. But if I'm walking and talking with another friend, and the same thing happens, and we both greet her, she'll smile and greet back (sometimes). So it could be that while one guy suddenly greeting her is creepy for her, two or more guys together, all greeting her, are not (probably because it's more instinctively acceptable if it's lots of people following the same behaviour, rather than simply one).
I can't help but think this is also linked to what women here tell me is the general lack of chivalry in German men. A friend told me that her boyfriend never opens the door for her or lets her go first, and this is simply a silly example, but she remarked that it was really strange to meet someone who actually DOES these things instead. Today I was coming back into the building and there were a young woman and her mother struggling to open the door because they both were carrying boxes; when I stopped and helped them, letting them go in first, they were both very surprised that I had done so, because in most other cases, German men would simply dodge them and go in, not bothering to keep the door open even...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xar, the first thing that popped into my head was that you'd have no problem with picking up women there.
That they'd find your kindness alone desirable.
BUT......I bet most see it as a sign of weakness and though amused initially they are ultimately turned off by it (I'm a romantic cynic).

Keep us posted!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Xar, the first thing that popped into my head was that you'd have no problem with picking up women there.
That they'd find your kindness alone desirable.
BUT......I bet most see it as a sign of weakness and though amused initially they are ultimately turned off by it (I'm a romantic cynic).

Keep us posted!


I don't think they see it as weakness... in fact, that friend of mine remarked she really liked it, for example. It's just that while they may like it once they know you, it puts them off when first they meet you because they don't expect it, and it is suspicious to them that you actually display it. Probably the train of thought goes like this: "Chivalry is obviously dead because no guy I've ever met - not even boyfriends - behaves like this. This guy does, and he doesn't even know me; therefore, he must obviously be trying to hit on me in a creepy way, because I know that guys never do this."
Yep, that's a bit cynical perhaps, but I suspect it might be something like that. Otherwise, it doesn't explain why they KEEP not greeting someone even after they see that person for the umpteenth time, and being politely greeted every time.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may notice a similarity in London with the greeting of people. When I first moved over here I found it really odd that people didn't even know their downstairs/next door neighbours, let alone greet them. People do not greet you on the street and even now if you get on a bus or anything its rare that you even get acknowledged by the driver if you bid him good day. I have had work colleagues try and speak to customers who look horrified at the thought of having to communicate and on one occasion even ask why we were speaking to them.
Thankfully due to London being very multi cultural this trend has lessoned.

On the flip side when I am in Holland everyone greets everyone. The formality of the please and thank yous in almost every interaction took quite some getting used to as well.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*having an intense feeling of deja vu*

I married into a German-American family. I do not know if it is all Germans and those of traditional German heritage. I truly only have experience with Hyperception's family. But I know my family-of-love is definitely stand-offish and bury your feelings in front of others. On both FIL's and MIL's side of the family.

I, on the other hand, tend to be at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Beorn is being raised to be that way, as much as he is able, and over our almost 20 years of married life, Hyperception has come to be much more open as well. It is now very strange when we get together with family to see the old attitude come over Hyperception.

I don't understand it.
I don't think I will ever understand it.
The entire concept is foreign to me.

But...it works for them.
Live and let live, eh?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really just a fancier, caviar-and-champagne version of the "thread drift is inevitable" thread.

That's my musing for the night. Razz

Damn, I had to read the posts and now I see you people are actually having an intelligent discussion. Who knew? I might have something coherent to add to this talk later. It's a Friday night. I try hard not to think too deeply on Friday nights.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as politness and hometowns go...it really depends on the people themselves.

In this neck of the woods...most people are very polite and friendly to eachother, everyone goes out of their way to hold doors open for other people, people are always saying hello to people on the street or in hallways or whatever.

But on the flipside, I've been living in my surrent home for three and a half years, and I've yet to talk to my nextdoor neighbour...and we're a very rual comunity.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From at least one of the feminists I have dated, some women feel insulted by holding open a door for them or other chivalrous actions. Some see it playing into the stereotype of "women are weak and need the door opened for them" and get insulted. Just goes to prove that you should never do anything nice for anyone. Very Happy

I was raised to do this, and have occasionally gotten dirty looks for it, and certainly more thank yous, so...ummm...yeah. People are some complex creatures.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hold the door open for anyone, man woman or child...half the time I've got an armload of boxes, and should be the one getting the door held open for...but I don't...and I've never had anyone get bothered by it...man or woman.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cagliostro wrote:

I was raised to do this, and have occasionally gotten dirty looks for it, and certainly more thank yous, so...ummm...yeah. People are some complex creatures.


I'm a modern woman, and I always appreciate having the door opened for me. On the other hand, if I get there first, I'll open the door for the person with me--man or woman. I think it's just courteous to open the door for others. Very Happy

My best friend's husband still opens her car door for her every time they go anywhere together. I think it's cute. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wyldewode wrote:
I think it's just courteous to open the door for others. Very Happy

Agreed. But I have had people take offence at it. I once had a heavily pregnant woman take offence at me offering her my seat on the bus during rush hour.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CovenantJr wrote:
Wyldewode wrote:
I think it's just courteous to open the door for others. Very Happy

Agreed. But I have had people take offence at it. I once had a heavily pregnant woman take offence at me offering her my seat on the bus during rush hour.
That could have been simply because pregnant women are more irritable, and rush hour isn't the most calming time of day...
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The strange dyslexic in me translates this thread as: Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams!
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