Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saying Hi to Old People

Nice morning for a run (New shoes are great - thanks again Leah!) and I ran east on School St and then on Melrose to Sheridan and then back on Belmont. Walked a little on the way back. Near the library on Belmont there was an old woman with one of those deluxe walkers coming my way. Now in Grenada there is a protocol for saying good morning. Walkers passing on the street say good morning. It is on the white guy usually to initiate: "Morning". MORNing"! Like that. Very British. When entering a room or a bus where people already are it is incumbant on the enterer to say good morning and the entire room then follows up. This can be disconcerting before you are hip to the rules as when you enter, say, a waiting room, all eyes will turn to you expectantly. . . What?

In America we mostly don't say hi. There's too many of us and we're too busy with iPods, twittering, iPhones, etc. That's ok too and it's not a big deal. But this woman was old and all alone and I just got back from Grenada so I gave her a nice MORNING with gusto. She lit up.

"Good morning and how are you".
"Old and slow, I responded."

She said more but I was past her (Running FAST you know). I waved and continued on. I was imagining her having lived in that neighborhood (Belmont/Broadway) most of her life and through a time period where she probably knew half the people there and everyone said hi. So that was nice and I'm glad I said hi. Probably should have stopped and talked a little too.

On the other hand if any wise-ass 30 year old says hi to me with a mopey, pitiful smile on their face I'm going kick their ass!

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