Saturday, July 11, 2009

Public Thoughts

Sometimes, when I'm out in public, well, I'll just say it...people annoy me. It's not that I don't like people - I do. I love people. But, I often find myself wondering, "What ever happened to common courtesy?" I remember the days when pedestrians had the right of way, shoppers held doors open for one another, people greeted each other with a nod and a smile and strangers didn't mind giving one another a helping hand. And, I'm not that old. I'm not jaded. I'm not cynical. It just slightly saddens me at the observations I often make when out in public.

Quite a few years ago now, back when we were living in Florida, I happened to be using the restroom at a Sam's Club. There were two ladies who were, shall we say great in years? in there at the same time. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation. To make a long story short - one of the ladies was really, completely and totally honked off about something. I don't remember exactly what it was. I just remember it being pretty insignificant. Anyway, she made a comment about how she didn't have to be nice or polite anymore. She had paid her dues. And now that she was old, she had the right to be mean and nasty. Honest to God, people. I felt like my chin hit the floor.

Then there are the people who get behind you in the check out lane and insist upon banging your heels with their cart. Or when you go to load your cart with bagged groceries (we don't have Publix in these parts) and they scoot theirs right up to the handle of yours so you can't get back around there to even pay the cashier. What's up with that? Then you have to say something like, "Excuse me, but, could you please back your cart up a little so I can get in here to pay?". Then they have to turn around and say something like, "Get your *bleepity bleepin'* cart off my heels so I can back up! This woman needs to pay so we can all get the *bleep* outta here!". And then that person turns around and says... OK, you get the idea.

For the most part, I still believe that people aren't totally self-absorbed and rude to the core. I just think that the stresses of life can be a little overwhelming at times and people just don't think. At least, that's what I choose to believe.

That is also one of the reasons that I truly love living in a small Midwestern town. Most people still do think. They think about waving at the stranger passing by. They think about holding doors open for one another. They think about introducing themselves to the new neighbors. They think about making small talk with someone they see at the store. It's really nice. It gives a sense of community.

I have also recently discovered another sense of community - the blog community. It's so refreshing to find that there are other women (and men) out there who have common goals, desires and aspirations that just want to contribute in some way. People who give selflessly of their knowledge, talents and insights - just because they want to help someone. I'm so grateful for all of these "blogging friends".

I just met a new one yesterday. I had mentioned that the past couple of posts I had written didn't want to properly space out the paragraphs. Then Lori came along and left me a comment. She has never left me a comment before. She has probably never even seen my blog before. Lori has a blog, too; Family Trees May Contain Nuts . Don't you just love that name? Anyway, Lori commented that if I would e-mail her she could probably help me with my paragraph issues. Just like that. Just because she's nice. And she did help me. Because of the random act of kindness of a stranger - I know how to fix my paragraphs using HTML now when my computer isn't cooperating. Thanks Lori!

I would like to issue a challenge for us all. Let's try to smile more, use kinder words, do something kind when we have that little inward nudge. I think if we all would do a little - well, I might not get so annoyed in public!

Hey! Have a great weekend. I'll be on vacation all next week, so I won't be doing any blogging. Yay for vacation!


  1. My daughter-in-law ans I were talking about this very same thing today. It's so much easier to be nice and takes so much less energy. Thanks for this post. Maybe it will help.

  2. LOL, I hear ya! My mother used to say the same thing, how she had "earned" the right to be grouchy after she reached 65. I wanted so bad to ask if she didn't think she'd already used up her quota beforehand.

    But seriously, how about those people that get on those handicapped motorized carts? I had an experience at WMT with a guy who seemed to always be behind me, and if I needed to stop and look at something, he'd put the thing in reverse, and then pull forward, and do that over and over again until I moved my basket 'way over to the side to let him pass. It was annoying because you know when they put those things in reverse, they beep. I'd go on to the next aisle after that and danged if he wouldn't be behind me AGAIN! Of course it isn't polite to swear at the disabled....


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