Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Observations from the Day
(And Etiquette Questions for My Readers)

While waiting in line at a craft store Friday, I watched in horror as a 9 or 10 year-old girl sniffed some holiday candy (a drawstring bag of liquorice "coal"), inspected the bag, and then found a way to jimmy open the drawstring. Hoping she was just trying to "see" what the candy looked like before she made a purchase, she pulled the cellophane bag from its exterior packaging, sniffed it once more, squeezed the coal with her fingers, and then opened the plastic bag. She stuck her nose into the bag, scrunched her nose in disgust, and then shoved both the plastic bag and its packaging onto the back of the shelf. She grabbed two completely unrelated candy bars (one in each hand), and then joined her family two lines over. This whole process took 3-4 minutes (the store was really busy).

QUESTION: Should I have said something to the girl, or perhaps a store employee? I saw her again on my way out, sitting on a bench with her six siblings — all of them obnoxiously loud.


Today while pulling into a parking lot, another female pulled her BMW into the spot opposite mine. Her name was "Kim." I know this because her license plate said "KIMS BMW." I was immediately irritated by her, and had to fight the urge to say something to the effect of "Hey, Kim, is that your BMW?"

QUESTION: Does this make me a bad person?
I went to the post office on my lunch break, intent on mailing out three packages in hopes that they'd arrive at their destinations before the holiday's end. On my way in, I found myself behind an old lady with a hunched back and a dishearteningly slow gait. I couldn't decide if I should wait behind her — in which case I would be shuffling at a snail's pace to get to the line (which could make her uncomfortable) — or go around her (which would make me be in front of her). I decided to go around her, telling myself I'd offer to let her get in front of me once she made her way to the line. But rather than join the line directly, she went to the postal store and browsed envelopes for 4-5 minutes. I was debating in my mind about whether or not I should still extend my offer when she cut in line in front of me anyway without asking (though she did say to the woman in front of me: "I think I'll join you, dearie").

There was a rather sizable line by this point — at least 8 people behind me — and though I was more amused than anything, I couldn't help but feel a bit perturbed. I should add that I'd seen/heard her interact with someone at the store, and so I knew she had her wits about her. But that's besides the point. She was old and part of me felt she deserved the right to cut in whichever line she damn well pleased.

QUESTION: Should I have slowed down to walk behind her in the first place, or was I OK in going around her? It certainly seemed rude, which is why I intended on offering to let her join me.
Though I'd never before heard the song — and it's apparently more than a decade old — I've heard Henry Rollins' "Liar" on the radio three times in the past four days.

QUESTION: Do you ever get the feeling the universe is trying to tell you something?

7 comments:

M@ said...

Something tells me that your parents would be proud of Kim but not you. :(

This is a sad story, Third. Are things so low you have to pick on poor little fat girls?

M@ said...

No. Since that old lady had her wits about her she also had the experience of many more scores of years than you, however more intelligent you may be.

That old lady was a smartass and was ungracious.

Jonas said...

"Do you ever get the feeling the universe is trying to tell you something?"

I get the feeling that the universe simply gave up, in my case.

Stacy said...

You should have smacked the rude kid, Kim, and the old lady. Yup, I have PMS too.

Chaylene said...

1. You should have said something to the kid, but NOT her parents. Bad parents don't like to be told, in public especially, that they suck.
A well timed, "Are you going to buy that?" would have scared that kid off the sniff and return routine right quick.

2. You should have waited until Kim was out of sight and keyed "spoiled bitch" on her driver's side door.

3. Give the old broad a pass. She's earned the right to pretty much shit on your shoe at this point.

4. Henry Rollins is like Santa Claus. He knows when you are sleeping, etc.

P.S. This blog is tits.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Matt - She certainly wasn't fat. Very thin, actually, and draped in Coach merchandise.

Jonas - Chin up, buddy. I often feel that way, too, but I try to tell myself that just means I have a bit more freedom than the rest.

Stacy - Violence is never the answer. But it is one heckuva great theory.

Chaylene - Um. Thanks? I hope that's a compliment, but I don't want to be presumptuous.

Chaylene said...

Yes, it most certainly is a compliment.