Like the kid from the horror movie who saw dead people, I see friendly people. They’re everywhere.
And the really spooky part is, my body warns me right before it happens.
One millisecond before some stranger sees my nametag and says hello, there will be a twinge in my stomach. It’s the strangest thing.
Like having my own spidey sense, except instead of an extraordinary intuitive ability to sense imminent danger, it’s more like, hey, this drunk guy is about to yell your name and give you a high five.
Fine with me. Keeps things interesting.
And the best part is, with obscure power comes zero responsibility.
But despite this strange biological feedback loop, the reactions to my nametag are still variable depending on geographical factors.
Living in a large city, most people are far too busy to notice a sticker on my shirt. Maybe an occasional disapproving glance or a pointed finger to remind me of my fashion faux pas. Which doesn’t necessarily hurt my feelings, but it certainly doesn’t add any additional fuel to my idealistic fire.
But there is one exception in a big city. Touristy areas.
In midtown, as an example, the interaction level around my nametag increases by a factor of five.
It makes sense. Tourists are visiting for that exact reason. To notice the details of their new environment, to soak the scenery in, and to do things worth telling a story about back home. Like waving hello to a random guy wearing a nametag. All part of the big city experience.
Another factor that transforms the activity level is urban versus rural environments.
When we leave the city to visit friends or family back in more suburban areas, everybody notices my nametag and says hello. But it’s a different kind of hello. There’s none of the big city suspicion or sarcasm attached to it. Just good old fashioned friendliness. God bless southern hospitality. It offers a nice dose of validation that my idea isn’t as crazy as it might seem.
Buffet sang it perfectly:
It’s those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same, with all of our running and all of our cunning, and if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.
Proving, that despite the flotsam and jetsam of our internal geography, sometimes all we need is a little change of scenery to remind us of the approachability of humanity.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What dislocation might help you renew your journey?