Sometimes I feel like I have been plucked out of my world and dropped onto a different planet. Don't get me wrong, I love Connecticut. It is scenic and beautiful. It's a much slower pace than Long Island and not everyone is in such a rush. People drive much better here too! BUT... I have been here for 15 years and some things still get to me. The people, especially. Not my friends of course. I love the friends I have made here. It's just the population in general. I don't know what it is about middle-class Connecticut that makes the people so.... repressed. Lighten up. Remove that stick from your tushie and relax!
For example... walk down any middle class neighborhood on Long Island. Every person you pass will greet you with a "Hey - good morning" or "How are 'ya"? Walk down any middle class neighborhood in Connecticut and people (for the most part) do not even acknowledge that you are there.
The first time I was in line at the supermarket here and I started chatting with this adorable little kid in line in front of me and the mom did not even turn around to smile or anything, I was floored. I mean, seriously? I have made friends for life in the check-out line in supermarkets on Long Island. We don't just exchange pleasantries, we exchange life stories in the time it takes for our groceries to be bagged! Not here. No way. Try chatting with the people in the checkout line here and they hold their children (and their pocketbooks) just a little closer to their bodies and give you that 'who-just-farted' nose in the air, look.
I remember walking into the mall when I first moved here. I opened the door for this woman and her kids. She didn't even look at me and walked through the open door I was holding. I was floored! Of course me being a New Yorker, I loudly shouted to her back "YOU'RE WELCOME"! You hold the door for someone in New York (which most New Yorkers do, automatically) you are greeted with a "Thank you so much honey!" And it is a sincere thank you - not a sing-songy "Thaaaank yoooouuuu" that you might get from someone here in Connecticut, if they take the time to even acknowledge your good deed.
Sneezing here is a whole different ball game. You can sneeze in a crowded restaurant in New York and 1/2 of the diners will shout out "Bless you". You sneeze here in a restaurant and people look at you like you have the plague. At first it bothered me that no one here ever says 'bless you'. Now I just say "bless me" after I sneeze because I know no one else will say it and who doesn't want to blessed???
I have found a big difference in my friends too. For the most part, the people I am closest to here are not from Connecticut. We, the invaders of this uptight nation, have befriended one another and band together in unity! I have made a few very good friends who are from Connecticut (I hope they forgive me this blog entry - obviously if I am friends with you, this isn't about you). A few of my very best friends are 'Connecticut-ites, born and bread' and I love them very much. They are kind, considerate, relaxed and most importantly, they say 'bless you' ;)
I have friends in New York that I have had for my entire life. I have managed to keep 95% of all the friends I have ever had from preschool through college. Not here. Sure there are some friends who stick by you. Others, not so much. What a shock this was to me. You make a friend, you hang out, you get along, things are great and then... poof. They are gone. Ummm, where did you go, my friend? Is everything okay? Oh sure, everything is fine. Just busy. Your friend, whom you loved, just goes away without so much as a second look. Now in New York, if you have a fight with a friend, or you just piss your friend off, you hash it out. You yell at each other, tell each other off, scream, curse, etc.. The next day you call each other and apologize. Hug it out and it's done. Not here. This person, who was your friend and decided without explanation to not be your friend anymore, even though you travel in the same circle, will just ignore you when in your presence. No worries if it is awkward or uncomfortable for you and everyone else around you. Nope. Their stick is, unfortunately, permanently stuck in their tushie. I would worry that it was me, however, I have seen these same people (and others like them) do this to other people too.
It amazes me that New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude. Maybe in the middle of New York City during rush hour, people are hurrying to work and don't have time for pleasantries but, for the most part, New Yorkers are the friendliest group of people you will ever meet! I do love living in Connecticut. I have made some very good friends here and my children are very happy here. But bottom line, I am a New Yorker at heart. I say what I think. I mean what I say and say what I mean. If I am upset, I tell you. If I am happy, I tell you. If I am worried, I tell you. I forgive and forget. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I guess you just can't take the New York out of the New Yorker. I think having that 'New York' attitude can only help me in this world :)