What I call Hi Society is what you normally do when someone’s approaching you while you’re walking along the avenue, boardwalk or beach.
In Hi Society, the common practice is to say “hi” with or without a short wave and maybe a slight smile depending on your mood and how friendly you are with the passersby.
But what happens when you see the same person or couple on your way back whom you’ve already said “hi” to?
Do you say “hi” again? Or is that too hi? Over hi’ing? Would it seem you’re not just polite, but political, like you’re running for hi office!
What my wife Rita and I usually do is avoid the hi sign the second time around. From us hi enders, one hi and you’ve hi’d it.
Love may be lovelier the second time around, but not hi’s. You’ve spent your hi allotment for that person, couple or group for that day.
There are exceptions to the rule of hi’s, however. One is if a person or couple you’ve already given your hi’s too, looks and smiles at you on the return trip, then you might wave, even return the smile, or do both, feeling friendlier the second time around.
To hi light how this works, we always say “hi” to the lonely lifeguard when we go by him sitting on his lifeguard stand looking forlorn at everybody having fun, but friendly seeing us.
Coming back, however, he’s already had his “hi’s” for the day, so we don’t want to spoil him or seem to be ingratiating ourselves.
So, instead of over hi’ing him, we look steely-eyed straight ahead or maybe out at the ocean and at the hi waves, for we’ve done our hi lifeguard for that day.
The other day we walked by the lifeguard at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, and guess what? He was reading a book.
Thankfully, no one was in the ocean, but I couldn’t help thinking what if someone was drowning while he was reading.
I could almost hear the distressed bather’s fervent request, “If you don’t mind, could someone please give the lifeguard a book with the title ‘HELP?’”
And Lord help us, for that’s how we think, act and behave in . . . HI SOCIETY.
A hi roller with words, Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available on Amazon. He also creates TV series like his latest Xtra Terresla whose main character is modeled after Tesla founder Leon Musk, soon to fight a duel with Twitter.
Madden is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for America’s largest companies and organizations.