Muhammad Ali famously said, “I don't trust someone who is nice to me but rude to the waiter. Because they would treat me the same way if I were in that position.”
I have a similar issue. Well, not really an issue. Just a metaphorical itch I cannot scratch. See what you think:
I try to be a congenial individual. When I pass someone on the road, I lift my head or give a small wave to say “Howdy!” After all, we’re not savages.
When I stop by the convenience store I make a point to wish anyone I see a “Good Morning.” It’s common courtesy. Except with one person. I see this individual every week and try to either give them wishes for a nice day or nod my head and smile as a form of acknowledgement. In return, I get an averted head and a brisk walk by.
I do not know this person, so it probably wasn’t something I've said or done that would make them standoffish. I mean, one must only spend a couple of minutes with me to realize I'm not the sort of person one would want to associate with. Just ask my family. Yet this individual has not had that chance.
I'm looking for the answer to two questions in this exercise. 1. Do I give off a creepy vibe that makes this person not want to say “Good morning?” Again, it takes most people at least two minutes of conversation to come to that conclusion.
And 2. Why do I have to gain their attention in the first place? Perhaps not everyone in the world is a morning person, and would rather be left alone until their coffee kicks in. Possibly they are dealing with a personal difficulty which is consuming their train of thought. Or maybe they are simply anti-social and would like to be left alone.
In the absence of a decent answer to either query, I'll just assume that I remind this person of someone they find unpleasant. Now, to be fair, I do not have the face that sunk a thousand ships, but I'm no homonculus, either.
If I believed in astrology, I would blame it on my Aries characteristics. You know, Type A, always wanting approval. So, naturally, when one hundred people are sociable to me and one person is not, I obsess over the one unsociable person. But as I said, in my mind Astrology is as real as Feng Shui, which is about as authentic as my Unicorn farm.
If I were in elementary school I would either trip the person or throw a pebble at the back of their head. Lacking in subtlety? To be sure. But I bet it would result in a conversation of some kind, if only once.
Does that make me sound insecure? If so, I apologize. It’s just that I was raised to greet people as I pass by. It’s actually one of the few civil niceties to which I adhere.
Hmmm. Venting might not have solved my First World Problem, but it was cathartic to get it out. As for the mystery of the non-greeting passerby? I’ll file in the same category as Aliens, Bigfoot, and why any Angel Food Cake I eat tastes like onions.