Looking Huffy

I grew up in central Indiana, south of 40. To those in “the Region”, everything and everyone south of I40 is considered country, backwards, and pretty close to Southern. Of course it isn’t in anyone’s wildest dreams close to what my sister in Georgia would consider Southern. Still there is a sense of graciousness and neighborliness that is not as pronounced in the more northern areas of the state. That said, even in northern Indiana there is a helpfulness that permeates the culture. People will hold doors open for those carrying children or large boxes. They will stop to see if you need help if you are stuck in the snow. They will let you go ahead in the check out if you have a gallon of milk and a candy bar and they have a cart full.

Times are changing. I experienced it first hand. Sparky and I were in the check out line at Dollar Tree. Now, I know that there are some people who would never set foot in that store. They are generally the same folks who make fun of Wal-Mart shoppers. I’m not a big fan of Wal-Mart but it has nothing to do with the people who frequent that chain. Dollar Tree clientele are on the whole looking for a bargain and rather a diverse group. But I digress. The line was very long and only one cashier was working. Some folks had been waiting a long time. They announced that lane 3 was opening. Sparky nodded for me to head that way. I took a small step back. I’m talking the length of my foot (I wear a size 7 shoe). As I brought my foot down I felt resistance. Having owned pets and being a mother, I abruptly stopped my progress. In that instance the woman behind me squawked. Immediately I apologized, “I’m so sorry!” Her response was greatly exaggerated and she began to curse at me as she moved to lane 3. I just looked surprised and remained in the line instead of moving – since I was NOT going to get closer to her.

This whole episode has irritated me. Why was she standing so close to me? Why was my apology not accepted? What was I supposed to do instead or in addition to the apology? I’ve been accidentally rammed with a shopping cart and the apology was accepted and I ended up having a nice conversation with the young mother wrangling her rambunctious 4 year old. On one occasion I was smacked with a gallon of milk. I wasn’t injured and again a profuse apology and we parted with smiles. What has changed in this world? Are we so pugnacious that we are looking for any excuse to have a tiff or start a brawl? These are mostly rhetorical questions. I can point to our current political atmosphere. I can nod at the general lack of interest in organized religion. There is permissive parenting, the opioid epidemic, cognitive dissonance, rampant drug and alcohol use/abuse, unemployment, shirking of personal responsibility, too many triggers and not enough sensitivity, a sense of entitlement, and a myriad of other cultural and economic woes that impact our lives.

Still this kind of encounter bothers me, and I’m not sure I can do anything about it. Sorry for the rant but every once in awhile I just need to get these things out of my head. Thanks for reading.

18 thoughts on “Looking Huffy

  1. Cursed you. Good grief. Some people are all set up to be irritated. You did all you could. There were things in that situation that had nothing to do with you.

    That is a tiny foot. You could step on me anytime. I probably wouldn’t notice.

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    1. Yeah, I sort of freeze and my mind goes blank when people start cursing and yelling at me. That was one factor in deciding to go with veterinary medicine over the human side of things – the cats and dogs may snarl but not a single curse word falls from those lips. As for my feet I don’t think they are that small. We bought shoes for work and my coworkers shoes were size 10 (2 pair) size 9.5 and an 8.5 with mine coming in second to smallest. There is one person with a size 6.5…

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    1. I’m pretty sure that you are correct in that observation. There are far too many people who can’t accept that differing opinions exist. They see only their point of view and all others must either come around to agree with them or be eliminated! Such a climate is ripe for violence. I’m praying for calmer heads and clearer vision. What happened to the “let’s agree to disagree” and remain friends and colleagues in the context of civil discourse?

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    1. I was just dumbfounded that she had such a violent reaction to what should have been an oops/sorry situation. I suppose it is a sign of the times. I’m non-confrontational so I didn’t say anything. She seemed the type that would have escalated the encounter. I don’t need to get beat up in Dollar Tree!

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      1. Lol Being a 3rd degree black belt–even with my size and age–I figure I can hold my own lol. But I’m also so offended by plain out meanness as well. You handled the situation well for sure. hugs

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  2. Let it go, honey……nothing more you could do……except perhaps pray for that woman’s foot and sole…whoops….I mean “soul.”Maybe for her foul mouth too.l

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    1. Hehe! I’m over it. However it did make me wonder about these tumultuous times. The resurgence of neo-Nazi groups and the rest of that ilk is troubling in itself but the response of the President is doubly so.

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  3. Free-form anger is a choice, and is unfortunately being stoked by the media, and a good many politicians. I encountered a furious woman, in Terre Haute, in 1983, just walking to meet my wife in a store. The rogues have always been with us, and now they are being unleashed. Stay safe.

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    1. I think that is it exactly. Somehow people have the idea that their anger is justified – they can (and do) release their pent up frustrations, dissatisfaction, and petulance with abandon. I suppose this too shall pass. At least that is my hope and prayer!

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  4. Maybe she was having a bad day…? Who is to say? I would have been perplexed too. I doubt that it was anything personal and wouldn’t let it bother me even if it were!

    You know, I did wonder what the saying, ” I parked in/ They put me/ us in The South 40″ meant! Now I know!

    I wish people around here were as polite as The South! Maybe with time!

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  5. I can understand it bothering you but at least you are well aware it really had nothing to do with you. That person was already having a bad day or was mad at the world or something. And I agree with your comment – some people have a bad day everyday and are only happy when they spread the misery. peace to you

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