Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Excuse Me, Were You Raised in a Barn?

I've been going to the dog park a couple of times a week since I got Buddy, and for the most part people there are helpful and nice. One woman in particular saw Buddy lurking by the gate when my mom was walking him, and she leashed him and took him back to the park to the sound of my mom's worried voice. Someone else found my car keys and hung them for me on the lost-and-found gate. If you lose anything at the dog park, someone is bound to find it and put it on the fence near the exit to be reclaimed. It's a little bit of humanity in the heart of the city.

On the other hand (you knew there was another hand), almost every time I go to the dog park, I run into a stranger (not the same one), with whom I have an awkward moment. We make eye-contact too soon. We approach each other in silence with that eye-contact/no-eye-contact discomfort, and then when we get close enough for a greeting, I'll say "Hello". To which the stranger says nothing. Not one word. Not a nod of acknowledgment. Nothing. I always wind up walking past a bit miffed, wondering if I was using my too-quiet voice and he didn't hear me. Otherwise, I just can't believe that a civilized person would pass another person deep in the woods and ignore a greeting. Are we so shy in Minnesota that a simple "Hello" is too much to ask?

Damn it, then. I'm definitely moving to Denver. I don't care how many family members I have in this stuck up town.

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