Our own little bubbles
My front porch
I’m about to launch into a nonsensical rant. Sometimes, there’s a time to be pithy. Meaningful. Profound. Other times, a little hissy fit or rant is called for. Hey, it makes me feel better. And, this is my front porch, soI can rant if I want to.
Doesn’t it bug you when you’re grocery shopping and someone stops with their cart parked in the center of the aisle, diagonally, and they don’t move? These shoppers somehow have an extreme fascination with ketchup, potato chips, or lunch meat. You fill in the blank.
They stand there, gaping at the shelf as if whatever they’re looking for is going to magically appear the longer they stare. No, people, this isn’t the hidden Diagon Alley in London. It’s HEB or Wal-Mart. A secret shopping aisle with hidden product is not going to appear. They’re oblivious, in a bubble, as if they’re the only ones in the store.
So what’s protocol in this case? Go down another aisle? Stand there until they decide to move? Use your Jedi mind powers? “You will move your cart so I can pass.”
“Uh, excuse me, thanks,” I usually say as pleasantly as I can.
Sometimes, the reaction is a huff, an eye roll, or a look that says, “How dare you interrupt my staring at the ketchup bottles?”
But this problem of preoccupation and being in a bubble isn’t limited to grocery store aisles. It happened the other day when I was driving home, behind someone who was more interested in his cell phone than paying attention to the traffic light.
We were sitting at the red light at RGIII and 190. When that light turns green. It doesn’t stay green long, if you’re trying to get onto 190. Waiting, waiting, waiting for guy in front of us to move. I could see him, head down, looking toward a phone.
So what’s the protocol? Wait until he moves? Let the light turn yellow? Go around him? How long until doing the “courtesy honk?”
One, two, three—oh, good, I thought to myself. The guy drove ahead and took the turn so we could all go. I thought we were in luck. Until, at the Avenue D traffic light, it happened again. I counted to five this time, giving the guy a break, then I couldn’t stop myself—honk! His head jerked up and he waved slowly, as if to say, “Whatever. Don’t bother me.”
It takes a lot to get me feeling ape-crackers, but that about did it. So, here’s my chance to fill you in and tell the town. Because we need to stop it.
Stop it. Stop being so wrapped up in your own little world while you’re out in this big one that you forget little courtesies. Letting people pass in the grocery aisles. Using your Driver’s Ed 101 skills and paying attention to the traffic lights instead of your cell phone. Realizing there are other people in line besides you. Courtesy, awareness, simple manners. They go a long way. And, I feel much better now. Thanks for humoring me.