I've always been a friendly person.
When I walk down the street I look people in the eye and smile.
No. No they don't. More than once in the last couple of days, I've been told that I'm clearly not from Seattle. That people here aren't that friendly. Apparently, that makes me seem like an outsider. But, because I don't shy away from strangers, I have met some amazing people. I don't remember not being like this. In college my friend Sarah dubbed me: "Sandra the Social Butterfly". I love this about me.
That friendly demeanor however, also leads to gentlemen getting off of the bus and "walking you home", telling you that you are beautiful and that they couldn't let the opportunity to meet you pass them by. That in Europe when you see a beautiful woman you have to tell her. (Europe friends... yay? or Nay?)
(Now..... mom.. Don't worry. It wasn't a threatening situation, and I didn't enter my building while he was still around. I am being as safe as possible.)
I've gotten two types of responses from this tale.
1. "OHMYGODTHATISSOCREEPY!" "I hope you told him off, made a huge uproar and punched him in the face!" "How SCARY!" "WOW WHAT A WEIRDO!!"
2. "Wow, that's intense." "He totally was hot for you!" "Did you give him your number?" "Wouldn't that be an awesome story to tell your grand kids?"
My thoughts are somewhere in the middle. While I was flattered, the thought that this man was crazy and might strangle me did cross my mind.
So ladies and gents what have we learned.
I refuse to stop smiling while I walk down the street. I choose to believe that people are mostly good and not out to harm me. I choose to be kind and will almost always help that lost tourist. It's what I would hope for, if I was lost. I will be careful when actually engaging in conversation with that stranger, but I will smile.
After all, sometimes, someone just needs a smile.