I don’t say “hi” to people in my neighborhood, because I assume they won’t get along with me…and I think this is actually a positive thing. Follow along as I describe this fucked-up bit of logic…
I don’t like where I live. I live in suburbia. For the Tampa area, my neighborhood is one of the most stuck-up, full-of-itself, self-important places in the entire metro area. I, on the other hand, grew up on a horse farm and lived in the boonies for most of my life. I am not a suburbanite. I detest the constrictive HOA rules; the rampant materialism and shallowness of all the Joneses that are busy keeping up with each other on my street; the chain-restaurant mentality; the snobbiness-masking-inferiority. I’d much rather live among blue-collar folks, and shoot things in my back yard.
But, we’re here because the best schools in the county are here, and my kids deserve that. Not to mention, there are decent amenities here — bike trails, pools, tennis courts. Heck, if it weren’t for the people, this would be a nice neighborhood to live in.
And here’s the part that’s positive about all of this, because there wasn’t much in the previous paragraphs to indicate positivity…rather than assume that all the people here similarly hate it, I assume that the people I run into here absolutely love their little piece of planned-community, similar-floorplan heaven — that this really is the place they wanted to end up, and they are pleased as punch to live in this neighborhood.
And I am happy for them, I really am. I wouldn’t wish anyone to detest the place they live the way I do. I like to assume that most of the people here like it here. And as such, I won’t get along with them. Something about diametrically opposed or something. So when I’m out walking the dog, I don’t wave or say hi to people in their yards unless forced to. I’ll let them think I’m the asshole (and usually I am, so that works out) and continue on my merry way. If I find out from my wife (because she talks to everyone) that one of my neighbors also dislikes the neighborhood, then I’ll make nice…but I won’t waste my time or theirs when I already know that neither one of us will want to hang out with the other.
A great many of the people here are what I’ll call, “Toyota People.” There are a bunch of Toyotas and Lexuses — Toyotas with expensive badges on them — around here. I detest Toyotas and won’t buy one. I think they’re over-rated, and their quality is over-hyped. I think they’re cars for people who don’t like to drive. I see many stupid things on the road committed by Toyota drivers. I think that people who buy Toyotas like to do what everyone else does, and believe that a product is whatever the advertising says it is. I believe they care more about how large the touchscreen is in their car than they do about how powerful the motor is or how well the car handles. I think the thought process — and I’m giving them the credit for thought even though it may all be unconscious — when they buy one goes like this:
“I want a car, because my car is two years old, and it needs to have the newest gadgets in it, and the new Camry ad says it’s the best car, and the most popular car, and I know fifteen people who have Camries and like them, and the new one has a new touchscreen, and has Bing and Yahoo in the dashboard, and the tail-lights are different from my neighbor’s, and this other ad says they’re great, and they’ve sold millions so they must be good.”
I don’t see Toyotas from before about 1999 on the road. Or for sale. I’m going to guess they’re all dead. I don’t think the quality is there. I don’t think gadgets are a reason to buy a car. I certainly don’t think that I will like something just because someone else likes it. I’m not buying a Toyota….or a Lexus or a Scion… any time soon.