Friday, 8 June 2007

Ole Misery Guts

For the last two years, we have walked the same route to pre-school, and for the past two years, we having been crossing paths with the same woman, as she takes her child to the pre-school in the other direction. We pass her walking to the school, then again as we both walk home in our opposing directions; our paths always crossing at some point along the way. We pass her again on her way to pick up her child and again as we all walk home for lunch - that is sometimes FOUR chance meetings, each pre-school day.

For the past two years, whenever I have passed this woman, I have made the effort to acknowledge her, by offering a friendly nod; saying "good morning" or "Hi", or smile. Not ONCE has this woman returned with like-minded pleasantries, instead she passes-by stony faced, with a grim down-turned mouth; the only facial movement detected is the periodic, rhythmic tensing of the jaw, suggestive of one chewing on a piece of gum (or cud).

I find my failed attempts at garnering any kind of response from this Sour Puss, increasingly humiliating as the months have passed, to the point where I dread our morning interlude, because I feel awkward and also compelled to offer some kind of friendly acknowledgement, purely out of politeness, even knowing the "cold shoulder" will always follow. Everyone else is courteous, why can't she?

Today my daughter was walking behind me, on our return home after dropping Mister off at pre-school. Missy Mopps stopped dead and refused to walk on; Sad Sacks was coming our way. At least Missy Mopps gave me the excuse to turn my back on that woman until she passed us by, thus enabling me to preserve a little of my dignity this time, at least.

What IS this woman's problem?


shishyboo said...

you could either:

walk along completely ignoring her from now on, pretending she's not even there


amp up your efforts and be even brighter and happier and stop and say hi, how are you? and if she walks off wish her a nice day and see you tomorrow.

that would completely throw her off

Aside: have you seen that Seinfeld episode where Jerry is tired of all the kissing and hugging as neighbours greet each other in his building so he stops? vaguely similar circumstances? hmmm maybe not, good show though

jeanie said...

Oh I have one of those just moved in next door.

I forced myself upon her one morning while our children (the only two at this stop) caught the bus and introduced myself.

She have been very good at avoiding any eye contact since.

What is it with such anti-social behaviour?

ha ha - love Shishyboos suggestions to "amp up your efforts and be even brighter and happier and stop and say hi, how are you? and if she walks off wish her a nice day and see you tomorrow.

Kathleen said...

You may not ever get a pleasant response from the woman, but that's okay....just don't let it humiliate you or ruin YOUR day. Don't take her rejection personally. I'd just keep on smiling and saying might be the only person in her life who's pleasant to her, and this shouldn't make YOU feel bad.