I know most of you who will be reading this so hopefully you’ll get a good laugh. For those I don’t know, a warm hello and thanks for visiting.
Montana is one of the friendliest states in the nation. People say “hi” to strangers here with no threatening innuendos. Runners, cyclists, hikers, and skiers pass each other with a smile and a verbal recognition of your existence. It’s considered rude when someone fails to respond.
I’ve overdone the friendly hello numerous times; to strangers. The resulting reaction has always softened my heart for people and the community where I live.
Seeing a friend across the street who recently underwent surgery, I waved and shouted for him to wait for me as I jay-walked to see him. At my approach I realized it was not the person I thought it was, but a really close look alike. I apologized and he replied the kindest sentiment, “It’s OK. I’d like to know you.”
The next wrong-person hello was a little more revealing. I was at the pool with the kids waiting for my husband to finish a round of golf with his friend. They had to pass by the pool, where we arranged to meet to briefly discuss dinner plans. Seeing him finally arriving on the fairway, I stood up in my bikini and waved him down. He hit the ball and traversed to the pool. It wasn’t my husband. I’m sure I turned some shade of red as I apologized. “No worries” he replied. He seemed flattered enough that someone in a bikini was waving to him, even if it was accidentally.
I wave to people in their cars, and they wave back even if I don’t know them. I know there will be many more episodes of mistaken hellos, but they’ll always be returned with kindness. This is why I love living in Montana.
Today, go out and say hello to someone you don’t know.