As the mild winter we enjoyed has transitioned into an early, summer like, spring, and the hour change has shifted daylight to the evenings, I have made an observation:
While running in the winter, oftentimes in the dark, people were far less likely to responed to my greetings. I make it a point to say “hello” to everyone I pass on the road and to wave to every passing car.
My reasons are simple: 1) It is the nice thing to do. 2) I could collapse with injury at any second and one of these people might come back this way….being friendly makes sense.
In the winter, most folks would just ignore my “hellos”. I would get a grunt in return at best. When folks are silent after I greet them, deep down inside I want to say, “HELLO! DID YOU NOT FREAKING HEAR ME? AM I INVISIBLE? ACKNOWLEDGE ME ASSHOLE!” followed by grabbing them by the ears and using my knee as a meat tenderizer for their face. Seriously, it pisses me off in case you couldn’t tell.
Then all of a sudden it got nice out and people became far nicer. “Hello’s” were returned with “Gorgeous out isn’t it?” and “Great day to be outside.” Pointless banter really, but acknowledging existence never hurts. Naturally, the economist and business man in me cannot just accept what he sees on the surface, he must tie things together and dig deeper for causation. I think I figured it out.
1) People who are outside walking the roads or streets in winter in the dark generally HAVE TO. They’re using their feet as transportation to and from a crappy job. Only the crazy and somewhat upwardly mobile are out there by choice! The sane and upwardly mobile are home watching cable and playing Xbox.
2) When the weather is nice and the evenings are light, all of the gainfully employed people are suddenly out and about. ITS LEISURE! Of course they’re more friendly! (they have a car!)
Just thought I’d share that analysis with you. I hope to put a good four or five miles on the sneakers tonight. Get out and do something, you’ll feel better!