Anyone who knows me will tell you I am pretty much a creature of habit…not that I can’t be spontaneous – actually I love being spontaneous, compulsive even. But every morning I leave my house at close to the same time and drive 3.3 miles to the office. On the way, I stop at the my favorite Starbucks (the one with the hot barrista) and order my grande bold pick in a vente cup (got to have room for that quart of half and half.) This morning was no exception, and I needed it bad for a number of reasons, which I will not bore you with. Honestly, if I could get my java through an IV, that would be super duper.
So I’m standing in a line three people deep. Everyone had that same, half awake, zombie-like look on their face, alluding to the fact that if given a choice, they would probably have been somewhere else, like back in bed. The woman at the front of the line was buying a veritable grocery order – coffee, a banana, a pound of beans, a bagel, and God knows what else. I think I even saw a plastic bear full of honey in her hand, and I didn’t even know Starbucks sold honey. Suddenly, the lovely drone of the usual Starbucks white noise was disrupted by Grocery Lady (to me she will forever be Grocery Lady) knocking over three Robert Plant cd’s from the rack in front of the register. It startled all of us into a state of “WTF???” Then, it happened…one of the things in the world that is my biggest pet peeve, maybe even one of the things that pisses me off the most. Grocery Lady looked down at the scattered cd’s, and did…NOTHING. I could feel my temperature rising at her complete disregard for something which SHE was clearly responsible for doing. She finished paying for her $500 worth of crap, turned around, looked at the cd’s and everyone in line…AND WALKED AWAY. I couldn’t believe it. I rolled my eyes at her LOUDLY (if that’s possible) as her glance passed over me – sort of the way my 11 year old daughter does when I tell her to clean up her room – in complete and utter contempt and disgust. I could feel the words “lazy bitch” gurgling in my throat, dying to come out. But I didn’t say it. The next person walked up to the register. I stepped forward, picked up the cd’s, and put them back on the rack. I could only hope that Grocery Lady saw me do it, as she was pouring her fifteen sugar packets into her coffee. I hope she chokes on it.
Which brings me to my point. What ever happened to personal responsibility, and common consideration? You really don’t see it much in today’s world. Once in a great while, you see a glimmer of it, but mostly, it is glaringly absent. This woman not only had zero regard for the fact that SHE was the one who knocked over the merchandise (responsibility part), but was completely ignorant of the fact that SOMEONE ELSE would have to clean up after her (the common consideration part.) She gets an “F” for today, since she failed miserably at being a decent human being. Am I overreacting? Maybe, but it’s the little things in life that make all the difference.
I try to instil these attributes in my daughter every day…take a moment to be considerate, always show compassion for people who are less fortunate, always take responsibility for your mistakes. These are simple things, but they seem to be missing from everyday life. It makes me sad. I’ve always lived under the premise that it is part of the human condition to hold these attributes close to your heart and live them every day, but now I’m not so sure that is the case with most people. I have far more respect for the person who is willing to stand up and be accountable for everything in their life. I certainly am not perfect. In fact, I’ve done some incredibly stupid things in my life which have cost me dearly in ways I can’t even explain. But everything--good, bad or otherwise—is mine and I own it. Mistakes suck, but they make us who we are. As long as you learn and move forward in a positive way, then it’s all good.
Ok, so I have had my rant for today. Now I will exercise that OTHER human attribute which is important to remember. I FORGIVE Grocery Lady for not doing the right thing. Hopefully, at some point, she will be in a position where she will be forced to remember those poor Robert Plant cd’s on the floor, and think to herself, “I really should have picked those up and put them back on the rack.” Hope springs eternal I suppose.