Ran into some of my favorite rude behavior at the grocery store today.
Much of it centers on the parking lot, like people walking as though they're unaware that cars also use the lot. What is that machine, they ask themselves with open mouth wonder after exiting their vehicle, gazing at a car coming toward them. A family of five spreads out like a defensive line. Cars idle behind them as they walk up the aisle. Why do they walk abreast like that? Can't they walk in tandem? Aren't they aware of this happening, or have they seen others do it and flatter them with imitation?
How about the shopping carts? We moved from the SF Bay Area, Peninusula edition, California to Oregon several years ago. Naturally, we compare the two locales and the locals' habits. In Oregon, one, pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way and cars are expected to stop for them. Two, though, people in our stretch of Oregon put their shopping carts back at the corral.
Here's the thing, though. We have regular infestations from California. We generally like and welcome them. Some of my best friends are from California.
You could say that most Ashlanders are California infestations. That's true; I'm addressing the temporary visitors. They don't put their shopping carts back. They leave them in parking spaces or push them up against the lamp post. Some Oregon folks are guilty, yes, but most of the time, my wife and I watch the offender offend and note their license plates and nod. "California."
Why, why, why? The distance to return the cart is fifty feet at its greatest. The time to walk it isn't much. Is it that they're all in a hurry to get somewhere else?
Perhaps they're conscious of us stalking them, watching what they do with their carts, and they're in a hurry to a escape.
Inside the store is another matter. Shoppers leave their carts in the middle of aisles and wonder off, zombie like, to find their food. Then, if you move them, they hurry over, looking offending, suspicions in their eyes about why you're touching their cart Have you touched their food? When done with them, some shoppers just empty their carts of their groceries at the registers and then chug away, leaving it to others to collect, move, or go around.
I would say that this is another area where I'm getting old, and my maturing dignity is affronted by small slights. More likely, though, I've noticed this all my life and have always wondered, why is it so hard for people to think of others and take care of their carts?
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com