I've been thinking of the subtle differences that exist between Southerners and Northerners and have tracked down their origins. What I am referring to is the extreme friendliness of Southerners. If you are walking down the street, going into the market, or coming out of a restaurant, you can often find yourself being greeted by perfect strangers who insist on looking you in the eye as they greet you. It is not just "hi" or "excuse me" it is "how are you doing today?" or "it sure is a beautiful day, isn't it?". As a transplanted Northerner, I still find this disturbing. What ever happened to looking at your feet as you pass a person and the slightly gruff "thanks" or simple nod of the head you would give in acknowledgement to a stranger as they held the door open for you? Why be so personal? Southerners also tend to hang out in their garages a lot. You'll see people with their lawn chairs just sitting in an open garage, watching the traffic go by. Again, up north, garages are for cars and junk. There usually isn't room for a sittee, never mind leaving the door open to watch the traffic go by.
As I said earlier, I have traced the roots of this behavior and now know the answer as to why there is such different behavior among the states. Simply put, it is the weather. Southerners spend much more time out doors, since they are not freezing their keisters off during the winter time, so they interact with society much more often than Northerners. The garage social scene is a way to enjoy the day, but not get too hot in the sun. Northerners, on the other hand, are used to rushing from one building to the next or from the car to the store in an attempt to stay warm while being exposed to as little cold air as possible. Who has time for friendly conversation when your nose is about to fall off from the cold? They need to conserve heat, not make new friends.
So, I'm off to go enjoy my warm March weather. Perhaps I'll take a walk around the neighborhood, greeting every person I walk by including the garage society.
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