I attended an event where a four-year old cancer survivor was presented with a very nice gift by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It was hosted at a local church, in the fellowship hall. As I arrived I saw people filing into the building single-file. It was a normal door, not a double door.
There was a man at the door shaking peoples' hands and greeting them. I assumed he was there for that purpose. But as I stepped up to the door he turned away and ignored me. I just walked in.
It reminded me that in small towns, which are always considered more "friendly", that friendliness sometimes extends to people who know each other. It's rough when you are an outsider in a small town, at least in the beginning. In this case, the man at the door - who was a relative of the child honoree - didn't know me and it's not in his world view to shake hands with a stranger. It wasn't intentional
I've actually encountered a few cases over the years where people who didn't know me couldn't engage in conversation because they literally don't know how to talk to strangers. I'm gregarious and will strike up a conversation with anyone, but I've had a few example where people couldn't respond to my banter because they never have the opportunity speak to people they don't know beforehand.
I have some surplus copies of anthologies I have participated in
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