A few nights ago, my brother and I made an emergency late-night run to the local CVS on the corner for a couple of things. We were only there for about five minutes (which was five minutes too long for me to be in public with my long lounging skirt and that god-awful scarf on my head, but I digress) before getting ourselves up to the front checkout. The conversation I had with the young man who rang up my purchases went a little something like this:
ME (I'd never seen him before): "Hey! How are you tonight?" (dumping my stuff on the counter)
MIKE: "Good! Thank you." (begins bagging my stuff) (eyeballs me thoughtfully) "Where are you from?"
ME (puzzled, because I hadn't gotten that in a while): "Uh... why?" (smile)
MIKE (smile): "Your accent."
ME: "Ahhh. I grew up in a lot of places, up north, out west... Air Force brat. Been here since high school, though. My parents are natives here, so what you're getting is a huge compilation of stuff that I don't seem able to shed, even after thirty-some-odd years."
He then said that in addition to that, my demeanor took him back home, to his neighborhood in New York, where everyone is easygoing and friendly and all you need to be happy is some relaxing at home with a good beer and your friends around you.
MIKE: "People have New Yorkers all wrong. They're not mean -- they 're just busy. They have places to go. They're just as warm as everybody else, you know?"
(I do know. Two people in particular have shown me that -- an ex-boyfriend who was the love of my life, and one of my best writer/film-making friends in the world.)
I thanked Tall, Dark, and Cute for my purchases, for the good conversation, and for sharing that nice smile of his. Turns out he's new. ME: "Take it easy. Hope to see you again when I come in."
MIKE (laughs): "I'll be here." CVS is known for working their employees pert near to death. LOL!
So. A Georgia Peach who runs on southern hospitality can have an empire state of mind, huh?
Let's hear it for New York. :)