Encounter on OOT Avenue

Walking through residential OOT with an OOT friend. We approach a corner and wait for a car to make the turn before crossing. The car contains two guys; the one in the passenger seat hangs out the window, smiles, and says, “Good morning, howarya?”

“Good morning, howareyou?” replies my friend.

“Really?” I ask, incredulous.


“Whattaya mean what? He was flirting with you.”

“No he wasn’t, he was just being friendly and saying good morning.”

“Where I come from, getting all friendly like that is hitting on a girl.”

“Where you come from, the only guys who ever say good morning are the sleazy ones loitering on street corners who croon, ‘Good morning honey’ at you. ”

“Okay, so?”

“This isn’t where you’re from. People are just nice here.”

I was skeptical.

Naturally, she brought it up as a humorous point with some neighbors in shul when we arrived. They laughed. At me. “Of course he was just being friendly. People say ‘good morning’ around here.  It’s normal.”

I’m still not convinced. I mean, lots of people drive past without hanging out the window and saying good morning. Am I paranoid?

5 thoughts on “Encounter on OOT Avenue

  1. It depends on how close the car-people and walking-people are to each other, how slowly the car is going, if the windows are already opened, etc etc. (And no, you’re not paranoid, you’re just a NYer!)

    In a similar vein: while my husband and I were dating, we were offered a ride from a guy in a pickup truck. Granted it was drizzling at the time, but I was still pretty impressed both at the guy’s kindness and his stupidity. “How does he know we don’t have a gun???” To which my then-boyfriend responded, “Well, he *also* has a gun, so we can all just be polite.”

  2. Its definitely flirting. I’m a guy, I know. We don’t just say hello to a random girl when we are sitting in a car. Its one thing if you happened to be walking by, fine a hello would be fine but out of a car… Your friend is either really naïve or ditzy.

  3. Flirting.

    I just saw a rerun of “30 Rock,” where Jack insists he wants a new cast member from middle America, where the people are more “wholesome” and “real” and “nice.” Liz says people are terrible all over; NY isn’t special. And she was proved right.

  4. We live in Memphis. I don’t think anyone flirts with me because I always walk around with my baby, but people definitely say hi to me all the time if they’re also walking on the street. No one has ever hung out of a car to do that, though. They always stop and wait for me as a pedestrian, though.

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