December 23, 2008

Southern Cultural Observations

On Running

Today, I went for a 6.5 mile run around noon in the more rural parts of Atlanta. Despite perfect running weather (clear, 45F, no wind) a few miles on some major thoroughfares and a loop around the trail at Atlanta Memorial Park, I saw only one other runner.

In my home town under similar conditions, I would have encountered at least a dozen, and likely two dozen, because it is so close to the holidays.

Upon arriving home, I heard my husband explain to someone that I had gone running because I was, "crazy." My friend, S, who also lives in Atlanta and runs regularly, is also "crazy" by local standards.

On Manners

Yesterday, I went to Bliss Spa to buy a gift certificate for my sister-in-law's present. E waited in the car.

As I entered, I explained why I was there and one of the bellmen (it's in the W hotel) opened the door for me and walked me down 1 flight of stairs to open the door to the spa. The woman at the counter, was, predictably, charming, chatty, and slower on the customer service than I am used to (but I didn't mind because I'm on semi-vacation and just being in a spa feels decadently relaxing).

When I left the building, another bellman said, "Good Afternoon, Ma'am." I smiled and replied in kind and briskly walked to the car (because it was cold). When he realized I was headed for the car, he ran ahead of me and opened the passenger car door for me.

Last night at dinner, E pulled out my chair. At home, he always waits to sit until I do, which I adore, but the chair is just an example of how much *more* polite the South is than California.

1 comment:

Arvay said...

It always seems to me that California is one of the rudest places in the US (foreign countries can't compare because the cultures are too different). But that's not fair for me to say because I've never been to the Northeastern population centers, and they seem to think that we Californians are so much warmer and friendlier than they are!