Archive for the ‘language’ Category

hi back

September 3, 2007

I don’t get people who don’t say hi back.

I’m no moron – I don’t walk through life saying hi to everyone I pass. But in some situations acknowledging a person’s presence, even if I don’t intend to start a conversation, just makes sense. Like passing on a wilderness trail. Or seeing a visitor waiting in the lobby while I’m waiting there too. Or noticing someone setting up nearby at the beach.

“Hi.” It’s a simple enough word, a modest recognition of a fellow life traveler. Somehow it’s also too much to ask. Not that I say hi in order to hear it back – it’s just that choosing not to respond is utterly foreign to me. I guess women have an excuse: they don’t know I’m not a stalker. But men?

How do they manage it? – looking right at me as they walk past, leaving my greeting hanging there in midair between us like an unreturned handshake. I say hi to everyone who first says it to me. It’s a reflex. Resisting it would take conscious effort. (more…)