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How do YOU say “good morning?”

What does the way you say “good morning” reveal about your personality? On my morning beach walk I pass any number of walkers, strollers, joggers and flat-out runners. I’m intrigued by how much those two little words seem to reveal about personality differences.

First off, there are the Hearty Greeters whose “Gooood Morning!” erupts in tones so vigorous you wonder if they’ll have any energy left for the rest of the day. No introversion here, although maybe a slight tendency to take control. Robin Williams’s “Gooood Morning, VietNAM!” would be an extreme example of this type.

My favorite morning greeters are The Bubblers. Their good morning comes out sounding as if it had little bells attached. A close second are The Chirpers, who offer a sweet little twitter that makes one feel all’s right with the world. I’d label them both the happy extroverts.

The Hesitators are quite willing to wish you a good morning, but not until you say it first. A little socially insecure, they generally wish to be liked but don’t quite know how to make the first move.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are The Mutterers whose greeting comes out as “mmrrrumph.” The Mutterers generally walk with their heads down and don’t make eye contact. This style denotes a rather bristly personality, someone who keeps his/her barriers up. Of course it may just be that they’re having a rotten day.

At the outer fringes of unresponsiveness are The Snoots. They offer no response at all, but march past, head erect, refusing to acknowledge that anyone else exists and if they do, they’re trespassing. One can only speculate why they choose to wrap themselves in the hazmat suit of solitude.

The Serious Runners are likely to respond briefly if at all. Their mission is too grave to waste time with words. You can identify them not only by their tank tops and sweaty bodies but also by their intense expressions. Likely to be type-A personalities, they need to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching their goals.

The Cluster Pods are anywhere from three to six women walking or jogging together. These gals are usually too busy chattering among themselves to respond, although individuals in the group may smile or wave in passing without breaking the conversation stream. Highly social, the Clusterers are happiest when in the company of friends.

The Zennies add a unique touch to the early morning beach. They do not run walk, jog or stroll, they simply are. Their “good morning” is reserved for the sun, which they stand facing in various poses. With their stick-thin bodies and black clothing, they look like figures in Japanese calligraphy. The spirituality they exude gives them a pass from any verbal response.

Marie Vernon, author of the novel, Graceland Express, lives in St. Augustine and blogs on her Website, www.marievernon.com.

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