Somewhere in my past, there was a TV game show called What's My Line? The show had a host of course, and panelists Bennet Cerf, Steve Allen, Dorothy Kilgallen, and Arlene Francis were the shows regulars. The show started with a contestant being told to "Enter and sign in please", and they would walk up to a chalk board and sign their name. The contestant would then sit down and the moderator would give some factoid clue to help the panelists determine what the guests occupation or special talent was. and a game similar to 20 questions or hangman followed with the panelists asking questions to figure it out. The "lines" ranged from rocket scientist to hair dresser, and it was fun to guess along with the panelists trying to figure out the puzzle of what the person did.
We've had our own version of What's My Line? here on the farm recently, and I think it's an extension of a phenomenon I have observed meeting several new folks in the region. I'd like to call it The Nebraska General Rule Of Meeting Newcomers. Most folks tend to treat us newcomers rather coldly, at least until they learn a little about us.
Not everyone is effected by this interesting behavior trait, so I guess it's not a rule, just a guideline. I've had a couple folks come to our door and not saying anything, waiting for me to say something like "What can I do for you?" When I was a phone installer, I'd hit the door and say something like "Hi, I'm here to install your phone" and not have them guess why I was there. Now if these visitors had an official company vehicle or uniform or something, it would have been a bit different, but I had no clue whatsoever why they came to my door initially.
It's no big deal, just different than we're accustomed to. Most city folk when you first meet seem to want to know more about you and ask what they want to know. I'm finding that many Nebraskans want to know more, but are not nosey so they tend to wait for you to tell them. I suppose part it is just about everybody knows everybody around here...except us, so people are just being cautious. The best part is that once started, people seem to love to visit a bit, and we've met some really nice people willing to share some good area tips with us as well.
I've mentioned before that people really go out of their way to make us feel welcome around here, we just have to get past the first few awkward moments to feel that way once in a while.