Saturday, October 27, 2007

way too nice

We stopped at a local nursery a few days ago to buy a tree (an Aspen of course) and began discussing the world in general with the co-owner. Got to love the off season for time to chat with people. He was originally from Indiana and we got on the subject of how nice people are here. No, I mean genuinely nice. No facades, no agendas, just nice. His theory was that as settlers began moving West, that the most open minded, laid back and adventuresome moved the furthest West. These qualities magnified in intensity the further West you went until you hit LA. No explanation needed there. What a theory and one that explained a multitude of ideologies and behaviors.

The proof came shortly thereafter as we both adventured into the most notoriously rude and horrendous destinations one could end up in - the registry and the grocery store. Safeway (based in CA) has to be THE friendliest grocery store I have ever been in. At least 4 employees, of which there were numerous in view at all times unlike Home Depot or Walmart, asked if needed help finding anything and several just chatted. One in particular had his family in the town I live in now and his wife's family was born and raised in Gilman (a former mining town and now a Superfund site). They even offered to carry out my groceries. And I don't look helpless or old. Wow.

Now for something really impossible to believe - the registry. In CO, the state police stations are called Justice Centers (I was waiting for Aquaman & Wonder Woman to come out of the main courtroom). To get your car registered here, you go to the Justice Center, the make sure your car is not stolen (takes about 10 minutes and we didn't have to wait). You then go to you insurance agent for your paperwork (again, about 10 minutes and no waiting). So far so good. We were really batting 1,000 as all of this was 3:00 Friday afternoon. Impossible to even get someone's attention in MA at that time if you are lucky enough to get them in the office. Armed with our paperwork and some good new stories of our town (one of the agents was raised there and was married there) off we went to the Eagle County Court House which is where the registry is. In we went. No lines. No waiting. A smiling, helpful and super friendly woman at the counter who didn't mind that we both were standing in front of her with several transactions to make each. 20 minutes later, new CO license plates in hand and completely dumbfounded that we had done all of this in less than an hour.

The sour taste from my MA insurance agent is finally going away and memories of standing, sitting, endless paperwork, rudeness and ennui of the MA DMV staff are dimming. Which one was the dream? I am convinced that the nursery man was right on the money with his theory. We have been here a week (ONLY a week?) and have dealt with plumbers, the DMV, grocery stores, and retail store staff. All nice. Pinch me.

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