I’ve never tried to be a Southerner. I don’t think I could do it justice. There are so many new words to learn, and I cannot do a proper accent to save my life. Every once in a while a slight twang escapes, but people tell me it sounds like I’m purposefully trying to make fun of those with Southern accents.
But, what I have adopted from Southern behavior and try to put into play is their immense welcoming. Saying hi or giving someone a smile is easy to do, makes you feel like you have a connection with another human, or animal sometimes, (IT’S NOT CREEPY!), and it only takes a second or two. Sometimes that hi or smile is what can make someone else’s day.
Runners, as a rule, are also a generally friendly people. There’s usually a smile, head nod, or small wave when you pass someone. Bikers, eh, less so, but that’s to be expected. They’re trying to watch out for you, small people, and are generally going much faster.
However, there are some people that never return the greeting. For some reason, I have this irrational anger towards these people.
I understand being in the zone, and sometimes it’s hard to see if these people are actually making eye contact with you when they are wearing mirrored sunglasses. (There’s no way they’re intentionally avoiding the crazy waving runner, is there??) But, the path is only 6 ft wide. Surely you see me. Also? Women, there is no need to be afraid of me or to scowl at me. I’m smiling and waving at you, too I’m not going to try to steal your man away with a smile while looking as red and sweaty as I do when I run.
We are all out there, (hopefully) enjoying our walking/running/biking/Rollerblading. We are all enjoying the peaceful Greenway where we don’t have to dodge cars. Let’s be civil. Small nod, two or three finger half wave, a smile. Be friendly, it’s the South, y’all!