Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nice Smiles

Well, the highlight of my weekend was I got to see my niece, (my best friend's daughter) and she smiled at me, giggled at me, and seemed to be glad to see me. I'm thinking she's about a year past the "it's just gas" excuse, so I'll take it as a good sign that maybe she remembers me some.

She's a charmer.

It was a bittersweet weekend all around, for so many reasons. We went to DC and camped together at Greenbelt National Park. I enjoyed every minute of it, except the part when I dropped him off at Dulles Airport. so he could go work for 4 - 5 months.

I've said previously, to generalize, that DC people are the nicest I've ever met. I am, however, testing the theory that what I really mean is that Maryland people are the nicest I've ever met.

At the beginning of the weekend, I was just stunned at their niceness. We Ohioans, I think, keep to ourselves a little more. In DC and Maryland, most of the people go WAY out of their way. It's astonishing to me.

For example, we were late to the International Spy Museum. The girl didn't gesture to the reception desk and tell us to see the man about rescheduling our tour. Nope.

She actually WALKED us over to the reception desk, STOOD THERE and CHATTED while he looked up the information, and WALKED us back to the waiting area.

Just like, on our last trip, when the CVS did not have the camera mini-CDs, they called another store (Staples) for us, walked us OUT TO THE STREET, pointed, gave us directions multiple times, and all but walked us to the other store.

And this time, a woman got on the Metro, frazzled and confused.

"Is this going the right way?" she asked.

Now, in Ohio, someone would have probably said, "It only goes one way. You're at the end of the line." And that would have been that.

No, in Maryland, a random stranger, not a worker, STANDS UP, walks over to the map, and tells her that it only goes one way. He proceeded to ask her where she was going, and he showed her how to get there on the map. And then, after taking at least five full minutes to help a stranger, he sat back in his seat.

And (last example), in the grocery store, the guy actually put his hand up to shade the credit card swiper terminal thing, because, he said, it has a bit of a glare. And could I see it okay?

My mouth was on the floor.

I really think I'm a generally nice person, except at certain times of the month. But the stuff above just does not happen in Ohio. Maybe rarely.

All I know is that by the end of the trip, I was tipping waitresses a whole lot because I was delighted at how nice everyone was. And I was talking to everyone. It was way cool.

I want to move to Maryland. I know the above is a generalization, but ... in my experience, it's generally true.

12 bonus scribbles:

conley730 5/27/2008 09:58:00 PM  

Isn't that great when kids do that? I'll never forget the first time one of my kids smiled for my mom! How old is your niece? She sounds like a cute!

Wow, the people in MD do sound nice. I thought we southerners had the market cornered with southern hospitality!

DH is working for 4-5 months?!? What does he do? I hate that y'all have to be apart for so long. It must be very hard.

Travis Erwin 5/27/2008 10:24:00 PM  

Alex Keto is the only person I know from Maryland and he fits that mold. You can find his blog at alexketo.com

I think people around my area are that friendly, maybe too friendly at times when you are in a hurry but don't want to be rude as they whip out a wallet full of pics of their grandkids, but I like it just the same.

Ello 5/27/2008 10:28:00 PM  

I just want to say that yes there are lots of nice people in Maryland, but we've got quite our fair share of assholes too! Thankfully you missed them!!

Edie 5/27/2008 10:49:00 PM  

Spy, I've never been to Maryland, but now I want to go. My husband I loved Kentucky because the people there were friendly like that. I hear the taxes are low there too. Hmmm.

Sorry your guy left again. :(

Michele 5/28/2008 01:54:00 AM  

I feel that way every time I go somewhere outside of CA, too--especially outside of Orange County. Don't get me wrong...there are a lot of extremely wonderful people here as well (I have fantastic friends and family!), but I'm always amazed that it just seems EVERYONE is so nice when I travel to New England. I don't know why that is... I react the same way you do and wind up talking more to everyone--and tipping more. :-)

Sigh. It's my happy place. LOL

R.J. Keller 5/28/2008 11:11:00 AM  

Sorry your hubby is going to be gone for so long. That sucks big time.

Thanks for posting your DC review, in spite of the pain of separation. My family is heading there in June and it's nice to know we can expect politeness. Actually, the Spy Museum is going to be the highlight of the trip for my kids.

Melanie Avila 5/28/2008 04:25:00 PM  

I went to high school in Maryland and the people are pretty nice there. Glad you had a good trip but I'm sorry you had to send off DH again.

spyscribbler 5/28/2008 11:30:00 PM  

Conley, about 18 months old. She is adorable! Yeah, I miss the big guy tons already. He's on a boat in the Pacific. He does love the ocean, at least.

Travis, I've added him to my reader. Thanks! I did love the friendliness. It took me awhile to get used to people talking to me like I was a person, LOL.

I bet, Ello! But your nice people are nicer than our nice people. :-) Well, in expressing it, at least, maybe not at heart. :-) (I loved the blog today, Ello! I didn't comment, because by the time I got there, it'd been said!

spyscribbler 5/28/2008 11:31:00 PM  

Edie, I love Kentucky, too. It's one of my favorite places to camp.

Michele, the difference is stunning. It's jarring. It's shocking. Why isn't everyone like that? It must be a more pleasant way to live!

spyscribbler 5/28/2008 11:35:00 PM  

R.J., the spy museum is a blast. And if you want a cheap stay, grab a tent and stay at the Greenbelt National Park. Hard to beat at $16 night, and it's clean with showers and everything. Safe and quiet, too.

Melanie, that's cool! Maybe that's where you got your niceness! Or probably it was already there, I'm sure!

lainey bancroft 5/29/2008 08:42:00 AM  

{{{HUGS}}} Spy! I didn't know the DH was flying off again. :(

spyscribbler 5/29/2008 11:41:00 AM  

Thanks, Lainey! Yeah, I know. I didn't realize it was that soon. Things have been a blur of activity for the studio in the last month. When it was over, suddenly DH was leaving in a week. :-(

*sigh*