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THAT’S The Thing You Should Try In A Small Town

, , , , , | Friendly | August 26, 2023

I work at a community center in the same small town where I grew up. The community center has a lot of activities and classes for people of all ages. In this part of the world, people tend to be very friendly with each other, even if we don’t know each other at all.

My girlfriend grew up in a very different culture, where people generally mind their own business and don’t do things like make small talk with anyone except close friends or family. She has moved to my hometown with me but is still struggling to adapt to the overall friendliness.

She comes to the community center to pick me up for lunch. We end up walking out with an older gentleman I’ve seen a few times going into and out of a “Technology For Seniors” class but never actually talked to.

Gentleman: “Ah, what a beautiful day out!”

Me: “Yeah, it is! Good day to be working outside instead of stuck in the office.”

Gentleman: “Good thing, too — these old bones like the weather, even just for the walk out to the car.”

Me: “I hear you. If you need a hand, we’re heading out to the parking lot ourselves.”

Gentleman: “Ah, I’ll make it. Sucks to be getting old, but that’s life. I guess I can’t complain too much.”

Me: “You’re on the right side of the grass. That’s a plus on its own.”

Gentleman: “Very true!” *Gesturing to the car we’re now walking past* “This is me. You two take care now!”

Me: “You, too! Enjoy your day, and see you around next time!”

He gets in his car, and my girlfriend and I continue on to her car. After we get in, my girlfriend turns to me.

Girlfriend: “Who was that man?”

Me: “I think he’s taking a class, or maybe he’s the instructor or something.”

Girlfriend: “You mean you don’t know him?”

Me: “Not really, I guess. Why?”

Girlfriend: “You make that look so natural, talking to somebody you don’t even know.”

Me: *Laughing* “Welcome to [Town]!”

She’s getting better at the general friendliness around here, but things like small talk with random strangers are still a bit of a struggle.

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