Please Don’t Involve Me in Your Friendliness…

Thunderstorms scare the natives.

Seriously, everytime the weather pitches a hissy here–Auntie Em, Dorothy & The Scarecrow run for the storm shelter. Walmart turns off its lights and herds the consumer whores to the back of the building; restaurants cool the ovens and refuse refills; drivers and passengers alike press their greasy little faces against their windshields; and Arkansas life as we know it comes to an abrupt pause. It irks the hell out of me.

Spoiled brat that I am, I ventured out last night for my bi-weekly manicure and, as my luck would have it, found myself smack dab in the middle of a rainstorm. Here I was-happy as can be- perched in one of those terribly huge black chairs with my hands being all prettied up like a poodle; when, god forbid, it started to rain. The natives, of course, rushed to the door in a panic… I turned my head and hopingly peered between the rather large head of one frizzy haired patron (whom I had immediately dubbed Ms. Clairol upon first glance) and that of her counterpart, Ms. Clairol’s Sister, at the parking lot across the street. Shit. I watched in horror as the lights of the Walmart began their death march and sighed. Loudly.

Ten minutes of a good downpour later, Peter, who had been waiting in the car, dripped in through the doors of the salon carrying an umbrella (which was not opened of course… he’s much too manly for that :)). He quickly excused himself from the now-frizzier crowd at the doorway and leaned down to kiss my cheek. Didn’t want you to melt, he said. Thank you, I said… then I watched in complete resignation as he set out to make a best friend out of every person there. He smiled. He chatted. He discussed the weather, the movies, the traffic, the leaking entryway, the song on the radio, the cable… He even provided an umbrella escort to the lovely Ms. Clairol (whose hair had grown to amazing proportions by this point) and her sister to their respective vehicles. And as I watched this all play out before me like a bad accident, I was reminded of the following facts: 1.) that my husband is a genuinely friendly person and 2.) that I am not.

I thought long and hard (at least for the following 8 minutes that I was trapped in that chair) about the reasoning behind both of our personalities and wondered if, perhaps, something was wrong with me and not the other way around as I’ve always believed. Did I not smile enough? Did I not ask enough questions? Give enough answers? Show enough interest? Was I not -sigh- approachable ?

I looked back at my husband and the now laughing group of natives and opened my mouth to add my voice to all of that comradery and take the first step into a friendly new world…

Then I remembered….

Damnit, I don’t even like these people.

August 23, 2006
Categories: Daily


1.©2006 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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