Nashville is even hotter than advertised. It’s charming where it’s not brash. It’s big and warm and welcoming. It’s not unlike the other places we’ve seen for that.
Everyone is just so nice. It’s patter, but I think they have to do it so hard, that they come to mean it eventually. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a difficult and painful act. I suppose it depends on the person.
In the last year or so I’ve come to know how well I’m able to make it till I fake it. And that is; not at all. When I’m sad, it shows. But then I think we British are not as good at covering as we’d like to think our well-mannered selves are. The other morning, when we found out that Britain would be leaving the EU, none of us spoke until well into the morning, when someone mentioned what was on all of our minds. We were very definitely bereaved. Fortunately this small and incredibly close team, of which I’m to be a part for just a few months, were able to couch each other from the hard truth and were soon able to share a smile about it. It was less easy at home, where my poor stressed-out boyfriend is still despairing a week later.
Something about the American levels of overt, friendly politeness forces an intimacy. While they’re trained and perhaps even bred to be polite and make small-talk, I find myself answering honestly and in far too much detail. In under five minutes, Ashley at Motel 6, Roanoke and I were discussing how I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life until well into my twenties and by then I already had a daughter. Poor Ashley. An even greater faux pas was telling the lady at Red Roof, Nashville that we were there on the way to New Orleans. She wanted me to show my love for Nashville and I failed.
Which is odd, because if I don’t love Nashville yet, I feel I could.
Charlie gets the comments on her accent that I don’t get. ND had several comments on her Hakuna Matata t-shirt and everyone mentions my tattoos. This barely happens in the UK.
But we tip big and we’ve talked often of Missy at Waffle House. Because this service culture is so foreign to us, we notice it and enjoy it. On the flip side, I think I can understand why these places sprout up with rude waiting staff and bad service. You kind of hunger for it fairly quickly, if you’re awful and cynical as am I. Or maybe the old me would have – nowadays I do just tend to think nice is nice.
Now all I need is to be able to turn on that level of charm with the people I really love and not save it exclusively for waiting staff and hotel receptionists.