I imagine that in most cities, like Wichita for instance, you’ll probably get a “Hello!” or “Well, good morning, Bob!… Good morning, Jan!” as you pass a stranger or neighbor on the street (or farm). But here in LA, it’s very hit and miss. Occasionally, there’s a “Hey” or a head nod if you’re on a hike or doing the Santa Monica Stairs and see the same (gorgeous, out of work actor) person 14 times in a row (Please. Who am I kidding. 7. My max on those effing stairs has been 7. So?)

It’s not that I’m cold and aloof. I want to be a sweet citizen… a part of “the community.” I just don’t notice and am typically the jerk guilty of not looking up or saying hello unless it’s time to pay for my grande drip. But today, my inner Kansas must have come out…
After I dropped Baby-Ko off at day care, instead of heading up the block to make a pit stop for said grande drip, I decided to kill two birds with one (cheaper) stone and go to 7-Eleven since I also needed cash from the ATM. For whatever reason, as I waited in line with the 99 Cent breakfast sign next to me, thinking about the ten dollar oatmeal I might have just spent at S-Bucks made me laugh.
I whipped out my new iPhone and took a pic. I know. I’m sooo LA, I thought to myself and smiled to the guy standing behind me.
As I plopped my coffee, bottle of water, and the new InStyle Magazine (hello, Fall Fashion) on the counter, the clerk and I bumped hands.
“Sorry,” she said.
“No problem!” I said right back.
“$9.06, please.”
I handed her a 10 dollar bill. “I think I have 6 cents” I said (I guess nicely).
“Wow,” The Guy behind me says, “We don’t get enough like you.”
“You smile at me, you’re pleasant to her…. There’s not enough people like you in LA.”
“Oh, well, uh, thanks…”
“We need more like you.”
“Ha. You just caught me on a good day,” I said grabbing my stuff.
“Bye,” said the clerk. “Have a good one.”
“You too,” I say to my new 7-Eleven friends. “You too….”
Hmm. They need more like me. Like me. That’s so nice….
Ten minutes later, I entered Sofya’s- the goddess of waxing/torture and all things Russian….
Needless to say, you can say goodbye to the “sweet” hello for this portion of the story….
FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
    That's so funny - the town in Missouri where I was born and raised (population 1100 on a good day) has more cows than people. Not only does everybody say hi: they also know your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, your middle name (I swear 90% of the people in my hometown still call me "Rita Jane"), and what YOU and all of the aforementioned people are doing - or not doing - with their lives.

    Seriously. This is totally not an exaggeration.

    When we moved to Vegas in 2005, that was the one thing I never got used to. I mean, the fact that people don't greet one another in the friendly way I'd grown accustomed to during my traditional Midwestern upbringing.

    Now that we live in Iowa, I find it's been a nice blend: our town is big enough to have a decent "metropolitan" feel, but small enough so that a nod and polite hello isn't a special occasion. :)
  2. Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
    Residing in the MidWest, I can relate. While visiting Chicago this summer, I noticed how everyone walked with their ear buds in. Do people not talk anymore????????? Totally different than rural Iowa! I am enjoying your blog.
  3. Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
    I also understand! I always try to be nice and smile (because I have been told I look like super bitch when I don't) and in my old twon, which was small and therefore should have been freidnly but was populated with asshats no one responded. now, in Omaha, everyone smiles back and holds door when Im struggling through with my three kids. Such a nice change. Go Midwest!!
  4. Alli B.
    Monday, September 7th, 2009
    your "inner kansas," lol. You're so funny. Didn't you miss your grande drip and $10 oatmeal though? love u.