Residents of Massachusetts have a long history of being reserved and not, if I may be so bold to say, overly polite. If you want friendly people go South. If you want to hang out with someone who's chill, go West. If you want a bunch of overworked stress bags who are just friendly enough with their neighbors to make sure if they ever were to drop dead in their homes their bodies would be discovered before the cats ate it, the Northeast, and especially Massachusetts, is where you want to be.
We've even been called "rude". Not by me but by, like, other people. Which is why this particular This is Not Boston commercial is so damn funny.
Or maybe I'm just projecting my own experiences on the residents of my fair state?
I've lived here all my life and while the people I have met are generally affable I wouldn't exactly call the majority of them warm. Sure, there is the odd neighbor who will go out of their way for you but they're usually the exception to the rule.
Not that this bothers me. I like to smile and wave at my neighbors and I expect the same in return but I don't expect to become BFFs with the new couple who moved into the house on the corner. Would I like to if we had something in common? Absolutely, but I'm not going to force it by showing up on their doorstep with a plate of cookies or a tuna noodle casserole. If you're from another part of the country where this is not only acceptable but expected you're probably horrified but this is just the way it is usually.
But sometimes I'd really like my fellow Masshole to go a bit above and beyond for a fellow member of the Commonwealth.
The other evening my husband and I took our daughter out for an early dinner at one of those obnoxiously loud chain restaurants. Apparently we didn't get there early enough because there was already a 20+ minute wait for a table. We chose to bide our time in the packed waiting area.
We stood in front of an L shaped row of cushioned seats because that was the only place to wait. All the seats were taken by able bodied people and their young children. Mothers and fathers all of them. I'm seven months pregnant and although I'm not huge my bump is clearly evident to those who choose to notice, especially to a person who has been in that position themselves. And for the first five minutes it never occurred to me to be put off by the fact that no one offered me their seat.
Then my back started to hurt.
I didn't make a big show of being ticked off - and I was - but I did make eye contact with more than a few of the people who were sitting and noticed most of them looking toward my baby bump. For the next ten minutes, until someone got up anyway because their name was called for an empty table, not one person gave me a place to sit.
Was I expecting too much?
Like I mentioned before, I don't expect much of my neighbors but we do go out of our way to help each other in times of need, because that's what neighbors do. But was I wrong to expect that total strangers from my area of the state would notice an uncomfortably pregnant woman and offer her a bit of kindness?
I mean, geez, it's not like I forced my tuna noodle casserole on them. Now that would be cruel.