I've always been skeptical of those probing psychological quizzes used to shallowly diagnose personalities (I mean, who doesn't consider themselves caring and kind? ... and, who doesn't see albino guinnea pigs in pink laederhosen and Hendrix headbands playing badminton in 90% of inkblots these days?)
But, if a bored psych intern threatened to psycho-babble me to sleep if I didn't make a list of adjectives that best describe me, 'friendly' and 'outgoing' would probably make the top 15 (nestled, of course, among 'introspective', 'shy', 'creatively aberrational (read slightly demented)', and 'excessively silly (as in, a well-phrased bodilly function joke can excite my wet-my-pants giggle reflex just as easilly as a geniusly-timed sarcastic and intelligent remark can'...)).
But, I, like, way digress...
I speak now of 'friendly' and 'outgoing' qualities because I had always considered these to be great attributes worthy of more wide-spread demonstration among members of the human race (and among certain members of the animal and insect kingdoms as well-- I mean, why can't wasps be more like their social butterfly counterparts, and grizzlies more like their friendly Yogi bear brothers?).
But, now I'm starting to wonder if the qualities of kindness and amicability are not a tad bit over-rated. In fact, I'm starting to think that these characteristics are highly suspicious.
It's just that I'm not used to so much 'niceness'.
Unlike L.A., Seattle seems to be boiling with benevolence and extreme cordiality. Everyone seems to be a little nicer, a little more open, and a little less suffering-from-a-thorny-barbeque-skewer-up-their-ass.
Half of the time it's really wonderful to be talked to as a human being by strangers, engaged in light-hearted conversation at the bus stop, and treated with a bit of respect and humanity.
The other half of the time, though, I find myself questioning the motives of such unfettered kindness. Who does this guy think he is, asking about my first pet dog when all I want is a coffee? Why is this lady arbitrarilly asking my boyfriend what color m&m's he likes best? Does she want to bake him some fancy brownies? Or ascertain what color bottons to decorate our effigies with?
I dunno... I suppose I'm joking. I suppose I value openness and friendliness more than I'll admit, and I suppose a little extra random kindness in the world really isn't such a terrifying thing...
But, one thing I'm certain of is that anyone soliciting my feelings on the day's temperature and amount of cloud-cover must be up to something. Most likely they're involved in some super-secret, sociological and meteorological recconnaissance mission aimed at annexing the planet and securing domination over all of our manufactured robots, Hello Kitty dolls and Elvis impersonators...
As usual, people, this is no joke. I don't make this stuff up.