A Walk to School

April 1, 2008 by Kailani  
Filed under random thoughts

Girlie Girl’s school is about a quarter mile away from our home and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been driving her to school every morning. Sometimes traffic is so bad in our area that the people we see walking will actually get to school before we do.

About 2 weeks ago, Girlie Girl asked if we could start walking. When asked why, she replied, “Because it will save our gas and help the environment.” How could I say no to that? So I started making the 1o minute round-trip walk every morning while pushing Baby Bug in her stroller. This has taught me one important lesson – I am definitely out of shape. When I arrive home, my heart is racing and I’m perspiring like I just ran a marathon. And it’s not like I’m even doing a power walk or anything.

Anyway, believe it or not, my lack of cardio stamina is not the point of this post, it’s this . . . why is it that when I encounter the same people every morning on our daily walk, they don’t say Hi?

Every morning we see the same people walking to school and I always greet them with a cheerful, “Good Morning”. More times than not I’m ignored. I see them the next day and the same thing happens. Am I breaking some sort of walking etiquette rule? Should I try to avert eye contact and hurriedly make my way across the street? Is it just too early in the morning for socialization?

And at what point do I just give up? Wouldn’t it be strange to just suddenly stop greeting these people after all this time? Sorry for all the questions but I’m so confused! Has anyone else experienced this or do I just live in an unsociable neighborhood?

BTW, anyone living in the Los Angeles area know if there’s a Joann’s or some sort of fabric store within a reasonable drive from LAX?

Comment Spotlight from GoovyOldLady of Groovy’s Ruminations:

Please keep greeting your co-walkers cheerfully. I think they’re smiling under all that grouchiness.

Once Mulletman and I were on the subway in Boston early in the morn for some sightseeing. The commuters boarded, shoved their faces in a book or newspaper or grooved silently to their MP3s. I SOOOOOOOOOO wanted to get their attention and invite them all to join me in a sing-along, but Mm absolutely forbid me to speak. It seems he was afraid I might actually irritate someone and they’d gun us down.

Silly man.

About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


42 Responses to “A Walk to School”
  1. danette says:

    Hi Kailani,
    Keep up the Hi’s. You might have brightened someones day and not even notice it.
    Hugs, Danette

  2. alice says:

    Hm. Does she attend school in Hawaii or Los Angeles? I have different theories based on locations. :P Anyway, keep it up, either way.

    As far as fabric stores or Joanne’s, I could ask my mom but someone may get you the info first. It’s way too early in the morning to text her right now, but I’ll try! She lives in the area.

    alice’s last blog post..The very definition of

  3. Laura Ch. says:

    Happens in our neighborhood too, but more often people respond. I think some people are just in their own world and when you say ‘hi’, they need to digest it and then respond, but by then you’ve already passed them by (at least, that’s what I tell myself). Although, there are the occasional non-social people in the world, but again, I like to think that they’re happy I said ‘hi’, even if they can’t respond in kind.

    Keep it up!

  4. Write From Karen says:

    Could be a couple of reasons (to play the devil’s advocate here). I know for myself, I’m NOT a morning person and the last thing I feel like doing is smiling and acting all cheery. However, I wouldn’t just ignore someone who said hello to me – that’s just plain rude.

    Also, you mentioned you were out of breath, maybe some of these parents are simply too winded to respond? (Granted, that’s a pretty lame excuse).

    This might be a good opportunity to point out to Girlie Girl (if you can without the rude people hearing you! Ha!) that there is really no excuse, ever, for being rude. Even if you don’t FEEL like saying hello, you shouldn’t take your bad mood out on other people. I preach that lecture to my oldest son ALL the time because he’s so moody right now.

    As far as continuing to say hello? I wouldn’t simply because I wouldn’t waste the effort. But I would definitely keep my eyes open and if they make eye contact, then either nod or say good morning. But if they don’t even bother to look up, don’t waste your breath.

  5. Angela says:

    Haha…my anit-spam word was coffee–maybe they just haven’t had theirs yet? We do a lot of walking in our neighborhood and see “the same” people every day…but around here everyone says hello. I don’t know if it’s a geographical difference, or maybe the time of day. (We usually go in the afternoon) Have you ever walked to pick GG up after school? Maybe the other walkers would be more friendly later in the day? What a bummer. But keep in mind that GG (and BB) are watching you for their cues on how to handle a less than polite response to a kind gesture! I wouldn’t give up on being friendly–heaven knows we need the few nice people that are left out there!

    Angela’s last blog post..Anatomy Lesson

  6. Lissete says:

    I thought that only happened here. When we travel we love how strangers generally respond to our greetings If they don’t greet us first that is. Around here more often than not we don’t get a response or if we do, its more like a grunt. That goes for stores as well, where they are supposed too be nice to customers!

    My daughter went to Tennessee for a confrence and she called specifically to tell me how nice everyone was. EVERYONE greeted her and offered help. She was very impressed. Here, I can walk into a crowded elevator, say Good Morning and get maybe 1 or 2 to respond.

    Lissete’s last blog post..I Fly No Frills

  7. Qtpies7~ says:

    Now that is just rude! I don’t always initiate a greeting when walking, but unless we are walking so fast I’d have to hollar back over my shoulder, I at least give a greeting back.
    Here in Minnesota it is often just a head nod, hehe. But you better return the head nod. It’s called ‘Minnesota Nice” don’t ya know!

    Qtpies7~’s last blog post..Great news!

  8. Karen MEG says:

    I think that is quite rude that they don’t even acknowledge your “hi”. If I missed you the first time, I would definitely acknowledge you the next time around. I would keep it up; it’s who you are, they’re the ones with the problem. Don’t take it personally.

    That’s great that you’re walking to school! Our school is so congested with cars it’s ridiculous; my boy is bused to school, but still refuses to bus home (he likes to play with his pals after school); so I’m still minivaning it in the afternoon.

    Karen MEG’s last blog post..It’s in the bag

  9. Chief Family Officer says:

    Wow, I’m kinda shocked that this is happening in Hawaii, I usually find that people are very friendly there (and I don’t mean in the touristy areas either). I wish I had some kind of explanation, but I personally would probably keep saying “Good morning” even if no one responds. At the very least, it sets a good example for your daughter.

    There’s a Joann in Torrance that’s probably not too far from LAX.

    Chief Family Officer’s last blog post..Welcome to the Carnival of Money Stories #53 – April Fool’s Edition

  10. Jessica K says:

    I don’t know why some people just can’t be nice. The same thing happens to me, I thought it was just a snooty Southerner thing.

    Jessica K’s last blog post..Toasty tootsies

  11. yoshi says:

    People are weird like that. But even I on my most craziest days at least nod or grunt when someone does that. I’d say keep doing it, maybe someone will finally acknowledge you and you’ll strike up a conversation.

    yoshi’s last blog post..Vytorin doesn’t do a damn thing…

  12. Michele McHenry says:

    Good for you, and especially good for Girlie Girl, for teaching Mom how to care about childrens future and Mom’s health with out knowing it!

    It takes a while for people to warm up, it seems in this day and age. Trust is not easy. Also, when in a hurry, they put up walls so they don’t have to stop and spend time getting to know others.

    Don’t worry, they will recriprocate soon. But, I am sorry, I remember the days of getting the lil ones to school and I was always in a rush, and not in the best of moods. My bad. But, I still would say “hello” or “howzit”, as not to embarrasse myself and seem like a witch!

    But, remember how mornings are for most mom’s. And give them a chance, they will soon have a good morning and things will change!

    They might just be jealous of how beautiful you and the lil ones are!! Just kidding.

    Keep the positive spirit, and it will always be a good day!

    Glad you are are now a “green” mom, and on her way to better health too!

  13. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    People who don’t respond AT ALL to a good morning smile or greeting are just being rude. I’m not a morning person either, but a return smile doesn’t hurt.

    Maybe you should distribute coffee on your way?

    Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..April Fool’s

  14. Kelley says:

    I say keep up the cheery Good Mornings! There’s usually no good reason for someone to be rude. I’m the type to “kill ‘em with kindness” whether they’re kind to me or not!

    Have a fantabulous day!

    Kelley’s last blog post..A Few Words

  15. Neha says:

    I’m so impressed with girlie girl! Eco-consciousness so young!

    Keep saying hi – some people are too in their own worlds, others are probably suprised – but one of these days you’re going to get more smiles and hellos back!!

  16. Ginny says:

    If after a few times of being ignored, I would stop greeting that person. The school my oldest daughter went to before her current school had no buses. Living in Michigan we walked during the fall & the spring months. I don’t think anybody said hello to each other walking unless they actually knew each other. I’m not an outgoing person, so I never thought anything of it. If someone said hi though, I would respond for sure. Currently we have a neighbor that will avoid us at all costs just to not say Hi. Her husband on the other hand will go out of his way to say hello. Not sure of my point in all this, lol. I did want to respond & say that the walking will really make you feel better. I started feeling so good after the first couple weeks & was actually bummed that where we moved to, didn’t have as many opportunities to walk to places.

    Ginny’s last blog post..$25 free from Revolution Money Exchange

  17. Tara says:

    yep, I totally understand. It has taken all year so far for people to start returning my hello’s… usually they at least smile at me now. I always thought it was because I am the pastor’s wife in town and they were scared I was going to shove a bible down their throats if they said hi… but apparently it’s not just me :)

    Tara’s last blog post..Cowgirl Olivia

  18. Andrea says:

    I think it’s incredibly sad that people are like that. Sometimes I’m wondering if people are so used to people making fun of them that they’re afraid to say things. At least that’s a thought – or people really are rude. I say hi and smile at people ALL the time. It either gets me in trouble, meaning someone thinks a mother is flirting with them (this happened the other day), I get a dirty look in return, or some sweet older person has the day of their life because someone just smiled at them. I say keep it up, even if they don’t say anything back maybe it will make them realize it’s nice to smile, say a goodmorning and they aren’t going to get screamed at for saying it. There are nice people out there and I love when someone smiles and says goodmorning or hi to me!
    Good job with the morning walking too. My sister is going to drag me to kick boxing, I’m nervous. Hee, hee!

    Andrea’s last blog post..Preformance Bib

  19. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    Oh that would bother me too. I always try to make eye contact and at least smile when we’re out walking. Look at it as a challenge – see how long it takes to get people to start responding! :)

    Deb – Mom of 3 Girls’s last blog post..Tackle It Tuesday #28 – Patching pants

  20. Richelle F says:

    Choose to be the friendly one and maybe they will loosen up a bit!

    Richelle F’s last blog post..More Sewing

  21. Amy says:

    I have noticed that in my neighborhood when I take my afternoon walks, too. I think that it is crazy that you can’t even offer a polite greeting…we aren’t asking for a conversation. Maybe we are just too friendly!! haha I just keep trying and hopefully someone will be nice back to me someday!! Have fun!!

    Amy’s last blog post..The weekend

  22. Renee says:

    perhaps they’re all deaf…or listening to their ipods or phones?
    So does the walking take less time than driving to school?

    Renee’s last blog post..Scattered!!!

  23. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Aren’t kids amazing? They just awarded Suns backpacks to kids at my son’s school who walk everyday – it was a big hit!


  24. Sher :) says:

    I think it has something to do with highly populated areas. It was the same for me when I lived in So Ca, but here in NM, people wave at each other when they pass each other on the highway. It took me a while to get used to it. :)

    Sher :) ’s last blog post..March Book Giveaway ~ I Love You So?..

  25. groovyoldlady says:

    Please keep greeting your co-walkers cheerfully. I think they’re smiling under all that grouchiness.

    Once Mulletman and I were on the subway in Boston early in the morn for some sightseeing. The commuters boarded, shoved their faces in a book or newspaper or grooved silently to their MP3s. I SOOOOOOOOOO wanted to get their attention and invite them all to join me in a sing-along, but Mm absolutely forbid me to speak. It seems he was afraid I might actually irritate someone and they’d gun us down.

    Silly man.

    groovyoldlady’s last blog post..Whew! What a Week!

  26. Pamela says:

    Just because they don’t say it back, if you quit then you’ve allowed them to change your mode of operation (:

    Keep sayin’ hi. Keep smilin’ Keep ‘em wondering.

  27. Kelly@SHE-POWER says:

    I really agree with Write From Karen, this is a great time to tell Girly Girl that it never hurts to be nice and friendly. Not only is it polite, but she will have a happier, more full life because overall people do respond to friendliness, they just can’t help it.

    I am very friendly and polite to everyone (mum was very big on manners and projecting positivity into the world). I chat to the girls at the supermarket checkout, my waiters, I say hello on the street, and because of this I have always found I can get along with just about anyone. It’s a useful ability to have in life. Plus, I always get fantastic service because people will help the person who is ncie to them.

    As a rule, people not saying hello is rude, but I do think how friendly people are in this situation depends on where you live. Australians are very friendly people generally, I’ve found, but in some parts of Sydney, where I used to live, the on-street hellos may be a little less forthcoming. Where I live now, in a coastal city south of Sydney, absolutely the other mothers would be talking to you.

    I think you should just continue what you’re doing. Don’t let other people’s bad manners influence yours, and besides they’ll thaw in time. It does suck though. But remember, it’s not your problem.


    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..SHE-POWER Fiction: Mama’s Girls

  28. kelleythejewelrylady says:

    Just keep smiling
    just keep smiling

    Maybe they dont speak english?

    I would keep saying hi every day…

    kelleythejewelrylady’s last blog post..Tackle It Tuesday

  29. Melissa Markham says:

    First I would like to say “Kudos” to your daughter for her desire to help with the environment. How wonderful!

    Secondly, I think you should just keep saying good morning if you feel moved to do so. Who knows….you might just melt some of those icy exteriors!

  30. tammy b says:

    that’s kind of shocking, i always thought the those lucky people who lived in paradise were permanently happy ergo would easily respond to a hello or good morning. we too walk to school daily and i say just keep saying it…if nothing else, it will show the kidlets some good manners and it will make your feel good.

  31. Kila says:

    Keep saying it. Don’t let the grumps win. One day someone will shock you by saying it back!

    You might start a revolution!

    Kila’s last blog post..Fun Monday for March 31st

  32. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Girl says:

    I’ve had a very similar thing happen to me walking my kids to school every day, so I don’t think it is only your area. I’ve always kept smiling and saying hi to those I pass and noticed over time people warm up. I even had a little kid wave at me today! I think we’ve all been taught to fear strangers… Just keep on being your nice self and people will eventually be nice back.

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Girl’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Ideas from Ancient Petroglyphs

  33. Jen says:

    I think you should keep on greeting everyone…you never know when it will be YOUR hello that will make their day! :-) I think in our world full of technology, we forget to be personable! Good for you for trying!

    Jen’s last blog post..Rule Number One: Obey All Rules!

  34. Cathi says:

    You my dear are an upstanding young lady that is courteous and has manners. Those are truly qualities that are lost in this day and age. Do not let yourself slip into society’s shortcomings. Stay as you are and you will be the example your sweet little girls will grow to be like.

    Cathi’s last blog post..Tutus

  35. Dee says:

    oh my gosh woman where do you live? Hawaii Kai? For some reason I see you living in the Kailua/Enchanted Lake area….??? Don’t know what the problem is, people everywhere don’t have manners anymore is what I think the problem is.

    Dee’s last blog post..Hi Mom, What cha doing?

  36. Sarah says:

    Yes, I think that is sad that people have become so busy and wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, that they lost the greeting etiquette. Seriously, I think it is super that you greet them, and continue! That is great, and maybe they will get it someday. Maybe they can’t hear you, or don’t speak English…but, I have a feeling they are just too darn busy to utter the word “hello”. Wear a shirt with a big and bright smilie face that states, “HI!!” Hopefully tomorrow you will get a few hello’s. Great to start walking, huh? I can’t wait until this round of snow is gone…and the warm temps come back for the year!!

  37. Michelle in Mx says:

    how – er – interesting . . .
    I know here you either say hi or get staired at

    Michelle in Mx’s last blog post..Portrates

  38. BlapherMJ says:

    I know exactly what you mean! This has happened to me many times. I continue to say Good Morning, Hello, etc. whenever I pass by or see others… The way I see it, folks will either greet you back or they won’t, but you’ve done the right thing being polite and neighborly! You never know how a smile and a friendly greeting can make a difference in someone’s day!

  39. Dana says:

    I think people are just being rude in my opinion. I live in the south, so I am used to greeting people as I walk by them (strangers) – to me, it is just a courtesy. Granted, if I were “up north” I might not expect the same behavior..but especially if I see the same people each day, I would think a subtle greeting, such as a nod or a “good morning” is just courtesy and an acknowledgement of that person.
    If someone ignored me continuously, I would probably just avert my eyes and not say anything the next time, but sometimes I can be really stubborn like that. You know, like it is a challenge then – to MAKE them greet me….hee hee – depends on how cantankerous I’m feeling that morning :)

    Dana’s last blog post..Just a couple of shots

  40. Vicki says:

    I think it’s geographical. I’m from Kentucky, and greeting one another while passing is common – even if you’re driving by, you’ll get a hand-wave. When I lived in rural Texas, I found this to be the norm, also.

    However, until very recently, I lived in the Orlando, Florida, area and people became suspicious if you greeted them in passing. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve lived in a rural part of Florida on the west coast, and I’m having to get used to saying “Hi” to everyone again! I love it!

    Vicki’s last blog post..Downtime

  41. Kristen says:

    I love the coment highlight, fuuny lady! Keep smiling, they are just still in shock.

    Kristen’s last blog post..Te-he

  42. Kristen says:

    …and my keyboard is broken. If I don’t spell check, I’m doomed!

    Kristen’s last blog post..Te-he

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