Maybe it’s just the competitive nature around here, but our first thought upon hearing a national survey ranked the Boston area as the fifth-rudest in America was “we can do better than that.”
As in, there’s no way we’re not ruder than New York City, crowned the crudest in the country last week by Business Insider.
The Big Apple was ranked the rudest by a little more than a third of the more than 2,000 people polled by Business Insider. That’s fine — New Yorkers have to root for the Giants and Knicks, after all. That would put anyone in a bad mood. But how did Boston come in a relatively serene fifth, after Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the land of perpetual sunshine, Los Angeles? It’s something of an insult.
Who could blame us for being a bit brusque? Our subway catches on fire about once a week, and our commuter rail grinds to a halt when it snows. And it always snows, which means we’re always shoveling, and getting into fights when we try to save a parking space with a trash can or folding chair. When it’s not snowing, we have deer ticks and greenheads. It’s been almost a full calendar year since one of our sports teams won a national championship, and everyone else in the country hates our football team the way we hate the Yankees. And don’t get us started on people who make Starbucks-like orders at Dunks. For some reason, they’re always in front of us in line. We’re pretty busy here in the Hub of the Universe.
Or maybe it’s all a bunch of bunk? Sure, we like to scowl, and we wear our reputation for rudeness like a badge of honor. But it’s worth noting, especially on Christmas Eve, that there’s more to the story. Yet another study out this year, this one from Fidelity, named the Boston region the second most charitable in the country.
And just last week, the financial services website WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 39 key indicators of “a compassionate spirit.” Boston ranked in the top 10, despite its flinty New England reputation. Boston rated especially high for its efforts to help the homeless, and for the way the region’s teachers care for their students.
So, America, call us rude if you must. Just don’t call us uncaring. And if you do, expect a reply.
For today, at least, let’s just say that reply, delivered with a compassionate spirit, is “Happy Holidays.”