Have you entered the storehouses of the snow...Job 38:22

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Smile Sweetie

I live a lot of my life on Facebook.  I suppose that sounds very sad.  And it is.  However, it is how I've kept connections and sanity during the long stint in South Dakota.  People still don't understand how incredibly hard the adjustment (or in my case lack of adjustment) to SD has been.  I've said repeatedly it's not just the weather.  I understand that even some of the locals don't like bad weather.

Last week a Facebook acquaintance from South Dakota made a comment about hating the winter weather.  She's more a friend of a friend, but I've met her a few times.  She's a very overly positive person.  Those people are nice and it works for them.  But sometimes the drippy everything is perfect, make lemonade out of lemons type of people get on my nerves.  I had a friend in Connecticut who was like that too.  We are no longer friends and it is largely because she found my realism too much for her Pollyannistic view of life.  I do miss her though.

After this acquaintance commented on the weather, I made this comment:
When I say that, people get mad at me.

She replied:
I'm only talking about the weather, not the location or the people

Unable to leave it alone, I said:
It doesn't matter what I say - I can just say it's cold or icy and
 people jump down my throat, but oh, I guess that's the people, my bad...

Zing!!! Zingers.... It was obvious she didn't care for me.  It was obvious that she, like a few others in South Dakota feel the need to defend their fair state and its people. 

I wish they could have been with me this week in Tennessee.  While I will confess that the rudeness of Wal-Mart employees can be universal.  I ran into a few of them at Cheatham County's Wal-Mart.  Overall, I was once again amazed at the difference in people.  

Thanksgiving morning, unprepared for the feast, I went to Kroger to correct that situation.  My cart (buggy in the South) was getting full.  No one cut in front of me with their cart.  Those occasional potential corner collisions were met with a smile and an Oh Excuse Me from both us.  When I say oh, excuse me in Brookings, it is usually met with a glare rather than a smile.  

In the parking lot, a young man stood by my car waiting to take my cart, along with his, to it's waiting place in the parking lot.  He didn't work there.  He didn't have to do that.  He said to me, "May I take that Ma'am?"  I said, Oh Thank You - he said have a Happy Thanksgiving Ma'am.  

Then yesterday we made our last ritual stop in Tennessee.  We always stop at the Sudden Service gas station in Pleasant View, TN.  They have a Wendy's, a convenience store and best of all a Dunkin Donuts. One last cup of coffee for the road, and donuts to munch on as we travel.  Heavenly.  My husband paid for our gas purchase.  The young woman behind the counter called him "sweetie" - "Thanks Sweetie."  He is old enough to be her father, and I know it is just habit with her, but it still sounded nice.  

We purchased a few things at Wendy's.  There we heard, have a good day Hun... I guess there is something about cowboy boots and buckles that prevent that kind of endearments?  As I ate my spicy chicken nuggets I heard another woman at the register say to her customer, Ya'all have a blessed day.  You too replied the customer... Ahhh, I hated to leave the south.

Finally, we got our coffee to go.  And of course the sour cream donuts I love so much.  The young woman behind the counter was all smiles.  Her register wasn't working.  She had to go to the back for everything she did... She still smiled.  She went out of her way to be pleasant.  She greeted a regular by name but never missed a beat or a smile in her interactions with me. 

That was a nice way for Tennessee to say good bye to me yesterday.  Soon it will welcome me back home again.  Until then, I'll try to remember not to smile in Brookings and to forget my manners or say excuse me.  I've adjusted.  It is the people.  They are different.  I suppose they aren't bad.  They like each other.  Maybe they even remember to say please and thank you and excuse me among themselves... but they just don't smile.  

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