Saturday, March 2, 2013

smiles, pleasantries, and a car wash: how to make my day *slash* I love when people are nice to me

{{See also: The Little Things}}
Dress: Dear Creatures// Cardi: so old, don't remember// Tights, pumps: ModCloth// Bag: F21 (also old)
These were taken yesterday, Friday. It's a day worthy of mention since people, strangers essentially, were just so nice to me. I mean, nice enough to boggle my mind multiple times as I was running my errands. (Northern New Jersey/NYC area aren't exactly known for being hospitable--not to say they never are.) For a second, it felt like my birthday and the niceties were obligatory or something. But nope, I wasn't wearing a Little Mermaid tiara and there wasn't a five dollar bill pinned to my dress to initiate a followup of even larger bills (why do I forget to try this out every year?). People were just in a good mood, in this rat race "I'm too busy to even respond to your 'hello'" city! It was wonderful and it honestly just uplifted my spirits. Can I share a story? Yeah? Okay...
When we first moved here, and I'm talking the first day we got here, we walked down the street from our apartment to get a slice of pizza around the corner (cliche much?). Mikey and I passed dozens of people on that short walk and I said hello to almost all of them; not a single person acknowledged my attempt at pleasantries. Most didn't even look up at me and speed-walked past, others actually looked at me like I was a quack. All I said was hello.
I remember eating the pizza in the most pissy, depressed manner (the saddest girl to ever hold a slice of pizza-- I'm making a Vanilla Sky joke). "I wish we'd stayed in Vegas," I moped, "people in the south and on the west coast are a lot friendlier than here...everyone was right, east coasters are kind of assholes." Mikey tried to console me and simultaneously bash the east coast/west coast, who's nicer logic I was throwing at him (he's originally from Jersey). He told me that maybe the people around here weren't used to such bubbly personalities on the street and perhaps I just caught them off guard. "It is a busy city and people just move faster here; they don't really have time to stop and chat with strangers," he took his chances at explaining for them. "But I didn't try to chat, I said hello!" I was getting emotional, as I usually do when I'm in a new state that I want to fall in love with but I'm still missing and comparing everything to my last home. "I know, I know. And it was rude for them to ignore you, but what can you do? Don't let it hurt your feelings. And don't let a few rude people on the street ruin your first day here...we have to live here for at least four years." I remember him saying this and looking at me like I was his child, his head titled looking at me with reasoning eyes while his left hand did that slow, swiping motion down my back. I was holding back tears that probably only came on because it started pouring outside and our table was right at the window. Feeling sorry for yourself can be quite pathetic, but add rain and a window and all I want to do is be the baby I sometimes feel like I am, especially when I'm the vulnerable new girl (this takes place for a few weeks before I become the 'confident and sassy new girl, who everyone should know'). He said this area was going to be very different than anywhere I'd ever lived, but it didn't mean the people weren't as kind. And he was right (duh). I was pretty bitter for the next couple weeks, but I couldn't stop being me. That first day at the pizza place, I probably sounded like a brat, er drama queen, when I said I wouldn't ever say hi to anyone that I walked past again, that if they wanted an asshole I could definitely be their girl. And trust me, I could, but it's not who I want to be for no reason. Ever. So I kept up the smile and niceties toward strangers that make me Me, and it didn't take long for the surrounding neighbors and passersby to treat Mikey and I with the same courtesies. Sure, to this day, not everyone responds to the "hello" or "how are you" I extend their way, but I certainly don't get butt-hurt anymore. It also didn't take long for me to adopt some of the east coast ways myself...like a few driving habits I'm not proud of. Mikey's always reminding me that I'll need to slow my pace down in general when we move to Florida, because they're on island time there, and I'm forever in a state of rushing like most of the people around me here. I suppose I've turned into a speedy little rat (?) myself. I just haven't forgotten to be nice to people in between. And that's what I appreciated so much yesterday.
After school I went to the Mini dealership to check on one of my tires because I got a little pop-up message that one of them was low...a month ago! Oopsy. Not only did they put air in it, but they found a small leak in my oil thingy (that is the correct term for non-mechanics like myself) and fixed/replaced that. They apologized countless times for the wait to which I kept assuring them that I had nowhere to be. I've never been one of those "my time is precious" people. I mean, I suppose all of our time is pretty precious but I'm just not going to be a dick to someone who's helping me. Plus, I had a huge bag of Starburst and they were playing The Lion King in the waiting room--did I really need to rush off?! Nah ah. So the nice dude at the counter lets me know my car is ready, thanks me for my patience, and I go outside to see my baby Aldous (my car's name) all clean and shiny. They washed and vacuumed my car! Now, either they're just as sweet as can be or they noticed that I had six months worth of dirt caked on and thought they needed to hook a girl up. It didn't matter, they made my day. The rest of the day consisted of a handful of other friendly encounters at business establishments that Mikey and I popped in at. Maybe it was obligatory customer service with a smile stuff and maybe people were just happy it was Friday. Either way, I was just warmed by the cheerfulness of so many strangers and workers. A few people (girls) even complimented me on my outfit! One was from the girl at the service desk at Mini, who I've seen on several occasions. She never really smiles or looks too approachable so when she told me that my outfits "always brighten her day because they're so colorful," I was like, "who me?" It was completely unexpected and so sweet, I'm sure I was blushing like an idiot when I thanked her. I wonder if she read my blog post from a couple weeks ago? ;)
I suppose I should shut up and end this babble now. Bottom line: people of New Jersey, thank you for not being pricks yesterday.
Ooooh, I'm only kidding. Y'all were sweet as pie and made my heart really happy. Thank you. Keep that shit up.

Love,
me.

Note: If it wasn't clear, I don't think east coasters are assholes; I think we're all kind of assholes with the potential to be really nice...and vice versa.

11 comments:

  1. Haha I never say hello to strangers, unless I am at work where I HAVE to talk to everyone who walks in. That is difficult enough for me! But if somebody walked past me and said "hello" I would be like "what a nice person" and probably smile about it for a while. You look extra cute in this photo, I love all the colours! :)

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  2. You look so gorgeous Roni! I definitely need to save up for my own Dear Creatures dress someday :)

    I think you are very very sweet and wonderful to say hello to everybody! <3

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  3. Haha what a brat you were on your first day in Jersey! Lol jkjk. I love you. I felt the same way in Vegas at first. I'd always say hi to people and no one ever responded. Then one day at work this lady came up to me and said "you're from Texas aren't you?" Turns out she's from here too and i guess could recognize Texas sweetness when she saw it! :)
    When you move to Florida you definitely better slow down...you might run over old people!
    Ps. You forgot to mention i was also entertaining you while you waited for that mini of yours!

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  4. Sometimes I get all shy and confused when people say hi to me on the street. It's so rare that it's startling. I think it's lovely that you do it though and got to know your neighbours a little through it.

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  5. I love having one of those days where everyone is in a good mood and nice and talkative. I had one of those last week while I was out running errands all day. I could have swore something was in the water.

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  6. I remember the first time James and I met you guys !! And it was late at night and you and Mikey were taking the dog out and very nice and cheerful and happy you guy introduced your selves ( something people down here never do witch I found very strange because I'm so not usedto but thought I was awesome ahh finally polite people humm they still exist whooohoooooo ) i remember telling James ( they are the cutest couple I have seen ) lol and I feel in love with the dogs hahaha . I'm glad I got to meet you guys Ps. I miss your red hair ! ! !

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  7. Love it! You look great! I usually think this about people in Vegas but I'm sure its just the part of Vegas I'm in (the ghetto haha) but there are those few glorious days where you feel great and so does everyone else.

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  8. Ahhh! I love your car! :D I was thinking of getting this for my next car, but now I'll really be thinking about it! hehe :)

    xx

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  9. D'aww. I am glad you had a good day full of sweetness and that you got in to the groove of New Jersey life. Your outfit is so cute and deserves all the praise it got. I can't wait to hear what Floridian life/people are like.

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  10. What model is that? The Mini Cooper is the best compact sized car that I know. Although, the Fiat has been competing with Mini Cooper in this area. They have cars that almost look the same! It's just that they differ in the interior. But I've been a Mini Cooper fan ever since and I'm jealous of you for having one! :D

    Stelle Courney

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