It’s time to confess. I might possibly be the most judgmental human being alive. Well, okay…just in certain areas. In all things traffic related, whether that be cars, or just how people decide to walk through a mall or get through the crowd at a concert. I really wonder if I am meant to live in a small town or in the country so that I don’t have to deal with driving very often or at least not around the massive amounts of people that I do. I don’t live in a big town, but it has a lot of traffic since it’s fairly dense.
I could go on and on about all the things I hate about traffic. I could tell you how much I absolutely hate when people take forever to turn when they’re the first at a green arrow. I could tell you about how it drives me insane when people drive under the speed limit for no reason at all, and then it makes me hit a red light. I could tell you how much I hate the two roads that involve merging from two lanes down into one lane in order to get or stay on 15-501.
But more than just vehicle traffic, what really bothers me is the way people walk in public. I have a theory: if I were one of the two last people on earth, and the other person and I were walking toward each other on a road a mile wide, that other person would probably walk so close to me as to bump my shoulder, or at least seriously invade my space bubble. I say this because to a lesser degree, this happens all the time. People with PLENTY of room in a walking space just love to walk as close to me as possible as to invade my space. Also, people really just really do not like to get out of people’s way. I have resorted to dirty looks. I gave a girl at Trader Joe’s a dirty look today as she nearly ran into me b/c she was too busy texting. Then her mother saw me give her the look and said, “ok, no more texting” to her. HA! TAKE THAT.
However, the most upset I’ve been lately at someone who seems to reject public etiquette, was at a concert at Chapel Hill’s famous Cat’s Cradle. There is a little platform area where people can sit. This platform has about two stairs that go up to it. There was a guy who was standing right in front of the stairs, and when I and others tried to get by him, did he move? NO. NO HE DID NOT MOVE. I gather he probably wasn’t even thinking about the fact that he was in front of the stairs, but after one person tried to get by, his line of thought should have been “hey, maybe I should move out of the way since I’m in front of the stairs and clearly people are trying to get by me.” But no, he just stood there another hour or so and made it nearly impossible for me to enjoy the show b/c I was sending dirty looks into the back of his head. I mean…in front of the stairs? Who stands in front of stairs? I don’t care if it was just two stairs or a whole flight, it’s the same thing as standing in front of a door-way or in the middle of a narrow walk-way, or walking too close to someone when there is plenty of room to keep your distance. It’s just freaking rude.
I am completely and totally obsessed with rudeness, and I know this comes from 16 years of working in retail. So, this relates to nostalgia how? Well, today I was thinking about how some of my older customers are some of the rudest. And I was thinking well, they’re old and probably don’t feel like putting up with anyone’s bullshit anymore, and so they just say what they’re thinking. On the other hand, they’re also just rude. And then I thought, oh no! What if I end up some rude mean old lady?
All that to say, when people are being rude, I don’t think it’s intentional. I might feel like it is in the moment, but really I know that it’s just the result of people not thinking. People (including myself) are pretty much only thinking of themselves and their goals and the quickest route to wherever they are going, or they are being overly cautious (slow left-turn takers on green arrows), or they really just have no space bubble and assume nobody else does either. Who knows why people do what they do. It’s probably why Jesus asked that God forgive people b/c they don’t know what they’re doing. He really did have some keen insight on humanity.
I’m sure I come off as rude to people already. I’m not really very cheery and friendly toward cashiers or people in the service industry even though I am in that same industry. I’m nice enough to my customers but I don’t chat people up in the grocery line and I don’t like getting to know the personal lives of the cashiers. I just want to get my stuff and go home. But I realize that I should probably take a little bit more time to recognize the humanity of the person I am interacting with so that they don’t think I’m just some rude lady who they’ll go blog about later.