Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why I Am Giving Up on People

It's nothing new, really.

Just the same old observations magnified by circumstance.

For example:

Last Thursday at the gym, I was using the elliptical and watching a film on my portable DVD player when a man — shorts barely keeping his appearance PG-13; legs so smooth they had to be wax; and skin evenly tanned by some UV machine — stretched in front of me (demonstrating not only all that god gave him, but also all of the hours he spends daily on the weight machines) and reached up to the television screen, changing the channel.

Now these TVs (there are several of them) are so high up for two reasons:

  1. So people can't just change them on a whim.
  2. So that multiple people can watch one television set, even from a distance.
And while I was absorbed in my DVD player, I was also keenly aware that other folks around me had been watching that particular program before he changed it.

I turned around and saw a girl glaring at his flawless pecs.

But he didn't stop there: oh, no.

Even though the treadmill he was about to board came complete with a small fan that a runner can direct directly onto his/her face, that would not suffice for my dearest Fabio.

Instead, he grabbed a nearby chair; jumped on top; and then stretched into the distance to turn on — and redirect — an industrial-sized fan towards his treadmill.

And since his treadmill was directly next to my elliptical, there was no escaping that Bertha-sized breeze.

Now before you think I'm over-reacting, allow me to explain that — though four years worth of allergy shots helped to curb the most noticeable effects — I am severely allergic to mildew, mold and dust.

These fans are never cleaned. In fact, I've been going to this particular gym for months, and I've never seen them on. But what I have seen: a layer of all three allergens, deposited on the fan blades and the surrounding screen.

Suffice it to say I didn't finish my workout on that elliptical.
Last night I picked up a few groceries after my workout, my trip timed perfectly (if you can call it that) to the entrance of a woman with four children (three old enough to run around; the fourth sitting in the cart and screaming). As luck would have it, they seemed to be visiting the same aisles as me, and in a similar order, such that I saw them multiple times during my 30 minute visit.

There were a couple times when one of the girls — about 5 or so — would stand in the middle of the aisle and just stare up at me when I tried to pass around her mother's cart.

"Excuse me," I'd say.

And she'd just stare. And stare.

And her mother, occupied with a box of cereal, would do nothing such that on more than one occasion, I simply turned around and circled the aisle from the other direction.

And I know this girl could speak — English and Hebrew, for that matter — as the three eldest kids fought and played in the aisles, conversing back and forth with their mother in both languages.

This general lack of consideration culminated at the front register, with the boy (at 10 or 11, probably the oldest) bouncing a gigantic ball (roughly the size of three basketballs) in the main aisle where people were trying to pass.

One of his sisters screamed, crying that she wanted to play.

"Let Sirah bounce the ball, Jonas!" yelled their mother from the checkout. "You have to share."

OK. So at least they learned a lesson on sharing... but what about a little consideration for the people around them?

I guess that's a moot point, right? Everything you do is all about you.

No one else matters; and if they do, it's only insofar as they contribute to your immediate gratification.

This isn't something I believe in, but I realize now — more than ever — that most people do.


M@ said...

Israelis can be like that, I hear. They'll actually put their hands on you and push you if you're in THEIR way. That's where you went wrong. You should have pushed her.

Jonas said...

I LOVE people-watching at the gym. Fellini, himself, couldn't script the scenes any better...

ds said...

I would recommend going passive-aggressive on their asses. maybe start singing loudly next to the guy in the gym. or fart. whatever. fling the sweat off your forehead at him and talk about the side effects of your AIDS medications and how tired it makes you. and that bitch in the grocery store - I'd probably stand right in front of where she's headed and read all the fine print on the mixed spices. you can spend a lot of time looking for a just right blend of chili powder. if you really want to burn her, buy up all the chic-peas and lamb. slip a pork chop in her cart. or lobster. whatever. you get the idea. good luck. bastards. just a few ideas.

XOXO said...

Ah DS. Always the most practical somewhat illogical answer. how are you by the way? I think she should have coughed and sneezed during both situations. No need to explain why.

MelO said...

How can I love people-watching SO MUCH and yet hate people so much?

Ok, ok... to be fair, I don't hate all people. But the general public are all a bunch of idiots.


At least you share the streets with people who feel like you do... even if you can't tell that they agree with you; know that they do.

Stacy said...

When I saw the title to this post, I was curious as to why. As I read it all I could think was ME TOO! Stinking self absorbed rude people, hate them. I had a few monstrous little heathens in my shop last week who I am still recovering from their antics. Is it polite to choke rude heathen kids?

Pamela said...

You are kinder than I am. I would have spoken up and had them hating me on the get go... BUT, everyone else around would secretly applaud ha ha ha ha ha ha.