I had a conversation with my husband the other day that made me realize that he and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to being friendly with people we encounter in our day-to-day life.
Husband: Do you remember Brian at the pharmacy?
Husband: He was there when we first started going there. He went back to school [blah, blah, blah - I'll admit I wasn't paying much attention] and now he's back working on Sundays.
Me: I really don't remember him, but I might if I saw him. I'm afraid I don't pay that much attention when I'm involved in a purchase.
Husband: You're really not very friendly, are you?
Me: No. No, I'm not.
And it's true. My husband knows the names of everyone he regularly encounters at the restaurants and stores he frequents. He knows what's going on in their lives in more detail than I probably know what's up with my actual friends.
If he came home one day and said, for example, "John from the bagel shop needs to stay with us for a while because he's homeless and couch surfing and has nowhere else to go," I would not be surprised for an instant. And then I would have to ask how tall John is because only one of our two couches is long enough for most people to sleep on—and I wouldn't know which bagel shop guy he was talking about until I saw his face.
Is that a guy thing? An extrovert thing? I don't know.
I don't tend to ask people a lot of questions. I was raised with a strong, "Mind your own business" ethic and I always figure that people will tell me if there's something going on that they want me to know about. That's friends, though. It really never occurs to me to ask personal questions of acquaintances and casual contacts.
It's certainly not that I don't care. Reading blogs and following people on Facebook and Twitter exposes me to exactly the kinds of things that the writers want to share with others. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of the personal happenings—good and bad—that I read about online.
So I don't know how to feel about the fact that I was neither aware of our pharmacist's absence and return, nor does it make any difference to me. I'm not at all rude in public, just businesslike.
Which side of the spectrum do you fall under? Super friendly, all business or somewhere in between?
Photo credit: ~*Ally*~