52 FEATS – Feat 1, Day 1

4 Jan

So today was the first day of Feat Number 1 – the “say hello to every stranger” week.  It was interesting…

The first place I went was Lowe’s, to buy a new toilet seat (apparently we are too abusive in the john and ours broke).  I actually forgot about the Feat for the first few minutes I was there, then suddenly gasped and looked around for someone to say hi to.

Here’s the thing I quickly realized – you can’t bother someone from what they’re doing in order to simply say hello to them.  Not if they’re a total stranger – that’s just rude and slightly loony.  I was walking past a couple who was looking at some paint.  They had their backs to me, and I realized that interrupting them was just not cool.  So I concentrated on anyone that I could make eye contact with.

And here’s the main thing that was different from my usual habit – instead of avoiding people, I had to seek them out.  To see if someone’s looking in your direction, you have to look them in the face.  You can’t pretend they’re invisible.  You have to check them out to discover whether or not you’re going to connect with them in that instant, whether it’s just for a quick head nod or for a “Hi, how are you?”  So that was pretty different, but not too bad.  I actually got quite a few smiles, hellos, and head nods returned to me.  Cool.

(Confession: Once I actually started to go down an aisle but I noticed there were several people in it, so I switched to a different one – chicken!!)

After Lowe’s, I took my kids to the park.  Not a lot of action there, but I did say hello to the few people who happened by.

The gym tonight was where I really had problems.  It was crowded – I mean, crazy packed.  And there’s just no way you can push through a sea of people, trying to say hi to everyone for no particular reason, without seeming like a total nutjob.  So I just scanned people’s faces.  I watched every set of eyes to see which ones might drift my way.  Any that did got a personal acknowledgment that I saw them, that I noticed they were there.

Overall today, it was a bit awkward, but everyone I encountered was quite nice and responsive.  Good start.

For the original FEAT NUMBER 1 blog entry, click here.

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.


2 Responses to “52 FEATS – Feat 1, Day 1”

  1. slamdunk January 4, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Nicely done with the greetings. Since I moved North several years ago, I have found how difficult that can be up this way–people are less responsive.

    • Jen January 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      Slamdunk, in your experience, do you think there really is such a thing as “southern hospitality”?

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