(image lifted from www.athenamama.com – apparently, Athena has an issue with Trader Joe’s)

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People annoy me.  I wish I could say that I really am a people person, just like I could said I was a good person (I am an ethical person, but that’s a different category altogether).  No, people annoy me.  Especially in the grocery store.

Going grocery shopping on a Saturday seems to be slightly more tolerable than going grocery shopping on a Sunday.  I’m not sure why.  But there are three classes of people in the grocery store:  those who manage not to annoy me, those who annoy me by being blissfully ignorant about the needs of others (sure, stop and read your list at the end of the aisle, blocking traffic from both directions – I’m sure all these people are willing to wait while you try to decide whether you want the tuna in oil or the tuna in water), and those who thinkthey’re being considerate of others, but they are causing more difficulty by being passive and dithery.  Sadly, the passive and dithery tend to be other women.  For centuries, we’ve been taught that a good woman isn’t pushy.  That is crap.  You don’t need to mow down everyone in your path, but for crying out loud, if you need to pick up a jar of peanut butter, pick up a jar of peanut butter – don’t be tentative because you don’t want everyone in the store to think you’re (gasp) aggressive.

Yesterday, I saw a woman miss her bus because she let some ignorant mouth breather block her way.  She was a nice, middle class lady, and wasn’t going to announce her presence.  Sure, the mouth breather was rude, and the bus driver was inattentive.  But she wouldn’t have missed that bus at all if she hadn’t ceded her position near the bus entrance to the mouth breather.  All it takes is a firm, “Excuse me, this is my bus.  Would you mind letting me pass?”  See?  Polite, but firm.  You can’t let the obliviousness of others impede your progress.  It isn’t rude to announce yourself.  I worry about all these people who let themselves get pushed around because they are too concerned what others might think.  Let me announce to all and sundry.  Guess what?  Most people aren’t going to remember total strangers saying “Excuse me, I need to grab a jar of peanut butter,” or “Excuse me, I need to get on this bus.”  There is a middle path between being a shrinking violent and an arrogant asshole.  The world would be a better place if more people would realize it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a syntax midterm to study for.

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