Friday, July 24, 2009

Boston friendly

When researching our move, I did lots of research. On various online forums and from various people in real life, I heard the same dire message: the folks up north were unfriendly. They were as cold as their winter temperatures and...well...just plain rude. Rude drivers. Rude outside of their cars.

Now, coming as I did from the land of "Texas friendly," this worried me a bit. Not that I needed to hear the life story of every single person standing in line with me at the grocery store. That, actually, I could do without. But as a stay-at-home extrovert, I worried about being cut off from all adult conversation, save my husband and my now long-distance friends.

Well. I've been up north for several weeks now. You know what? It may not be Texas friendly, but it's Boston friendly. And that's plenty friendly. I've chatted briefly with strangers at the checkout lines in grocery stores. With strangers at the local lake. Drivers let me in. Even the folks working at the RMV (that's DMV to you Texas folks) were super friendly and kind.

On a more personal level, we've enjoyed a few playdates already. An extremely kind neighbor is even throwing a barbecue to introduce my son to some of his fellow students at the local school. And I'm slowly forging some connections with fellow moms in my community.

Now, that's not to say that sometimes, friendliness is unexpected. Recently, at a Nordstrom presale (a curtained off, by-appointment-only area for previewing and purchasing sales merchandise before the sale officially begins), I was browsing through an entirely too large selection of North Face outerwear. I was lost among the varying degrees of fleece and puffiness. I politely caught the eye of an older Asian woman and asked, "I'm sorry. I just moved here from Texas, and I wondered which of these coats you think are really useful?" The woman shot me a startled, wary if a chipmunk had addressed her or something equally as unlikely. In seconds, she thawed and began chatting and reviewing coats. I heard about her son's internship and how much I'd like Boston. In departing, she welcomed me to New England. Now that's friendly! Boston friendly.

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