Monday, October 26, 2009

The Suckiness of Fake 'Friendliness'

A lot of newcomers to Bend comment on how "friendly" the people here are. It's true, in a way. Restaurant servers are never (well, hardly ever) surly. People will chat you up in the Costco checkout line, in the line at the bank, in the movie ticket line -- almost anywhere.

People in the checkout lines at the supermarket, the coffee shop or wherever also will strike up long conversations with the clerk or barista about their children, their grandchildren, their latest vacation, their planned vacation, etc., etc. -- which Blackdog thinks is pretty damn rude to the people waiting behind them in line, but again, this is what passes for "friendliness."

But is making small talk with strangers really "friendliness"? How deep does such "friendliness" go? How sincere is it?

In Blackdog's experience, the "friendly" folks of Bend will stab you in the back just as quickly as people on the East Coast, or anywhere else. And I've never lived in a place where vicious rumors were spread so quickly and eagerly.

Blackdog would rather have a few real friends who I can trust and rely on than any number of smiles from waitresses or cheerful chats with strangers in front of the ATM. Fake friendliness sucks.

About yesterday's weather: It started out nice but turned overcast, windy and kinda chilly (low 50s) as the next sucky weather front started to move in.

Daily Suck Index for Sunday, Oct. 25: 5


Yonatan said...

Hi Blackdog.. The first time I saw your blog I laughed and thought it was silly. However, I just moved to Bend a few months aago and now I totally agree with you 100%.

Everything you say about the fake friendliness of Bend is true. People here are very conceited and self-absorbed. THe yuppie elite vibe mixed wit hthe outback libertarian vibe really results in a town that is quite closed. I know that the people who work at the stores seem very friendly and outgoing to you, but when you try to make any close connections to people they push you away and usually don't want to associate with you. I was shocked at how much friendlier people in Portland were than here in Bend. I know the Pac Northwest in general has a reputation of being anti-social and sterile, but it seems expounded in the town of Bend.

What can I say, maybe I am just negative, but I am very lonesome here and have had a hard time meeting people for anything, whether it is hiking, target shooting or just meeting for coffee. Seems like lot of people hide in their homes with their families. Either that, or you can be part of the snowboarder/skiier crowd, who are at the moutnain all day and spend their evenings getting drunk in the bars. Both scenes are not for me. I am more of an intellectual. I don't know why but I want to leave this town as soon as I can. Perhaps, I will consider going to a more populated place with nice mountain scenery like, Denver or Colorado Springs.

The town also really doesn't have much to do outside winter sports and a few boring festivals. I mean, the Oktoberfest was really lame. The beers cost so much and I would rather just go to bar geta better beer in a glass cup rather than plastic, for 1/2 the cost. I am kind of a city slicker/country mix, but I don't fit in well with the california yuppishy circles. Also, I tried attending churches but the people seem to shun me cause I am not married. Single young men have a real tough time in the town of Bend. There is not many single women here, so bring your own girlfriend, as they say. Unless, you don't mind finding a girl who is divorced with 3 kids.

blackdog said...

I think many if not most of the people in Bend have been here such a short time they haven't had time to develop relationships. And it's not easy to gain admittance to the social circles of the old-timers, many of whom seem to feel that if your family hasn't been here for at least nine generations you don't really "belong."