I'm going to come right out and say it. Howard County is un-welcoming at best. And I say this having spent the majority of my 35 years here.
I think I've always known it, but it became abundantly clear as the family and I spent last week near Fenwick Island, DE. Everyday at the pool, other parents would strike up conversations with us, encourage their kids to play with ours, and encourage their kids to share toys with us etc. And yes, I realize we were technically on vacation, but I can't understand why people can't behave like this at home.
But at the CA pools, it seems that any time we try to talk to other parents, they politely respond and then cut off the conversation. I don't get it. We clearly have things in common, even if it's just that we have kids of similar ages that are in the pool together. There is no reason not to have a friendly conversation.
And at my girls' pre-school it's even worse. Here, we clearly have things in common and should share an interest in making sure our kids are in a friendly and welcoming environment. It seems that parents communicating with each other would be a great thing.
But no, anytime I try to strike up a conversation with another parent, I get nothing. Sometimes I try to smile and get a frown in return. WTF? I just don't get it.
We're lucky, we live on a street in Columbia with other young families. We moved in five years ago and immediately started having the other young couples over for drinks and dinner. We all took turns hosting at our houses. It's wonderful to have people that are friends and neighbors.
I remember when my family first moved to Columbia in the late-80s. My mother was generous with our new neighbors, assumed that they all worked for NSA and that they must be brilliant and that's why they were unfriendly. They had "super secret jobs" and were introverts.
I don't buy it. I think we are all caught up in our own lives and don't care about the rest of our community.It would explain why we require a PR campaign to remind us to be civil...