Sniffing and Talking to Pets but not to Attract Notice

I notice that you tend to sniff when passing people on the street. I wonder, do you do this to get their attention for some reason, or to inform them of your presence?

No.  I think it has more to do with trying to avoid being seen with a runny nose. I think this especially because I sniffed just now while being passed by an automobile, and while I could not plausibly have been trying to attract the driver’s attention by this means, I might plausibly have been worried that they would see my nose run. Additionally, it would be an odd way to attract the positive notice of another person, wouldn’t it?… (Another possibility is that I sniff a lot at certain times of year and am only cognizant of it in the presence of other people, especially women.)

I notice that women walking dogs tend to talk to their pets as they pass you or as you pass them, do you feel that it is to attract your notice, and to make a demonstration of what nice, solicitous people they are?

No. I think women may in general be especially sensitive to the social awkwardness of two people being in close physical proximity without acknowledging each other, and try to obviate or mollify it by talking to their pet. It is also possible that people will talk to their pets quite a lot.

Funny thing — just as I am concluding these thoughts, I hear a sniff. It is a young woman approaching me, athletic type. She looks briefly over to me while we pass and, judging by her expression, I would guess that she’d like to kill me — a look of total hostility.

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