Pet Peeves

Becky is annoyed with the self-service scanners in her neighborhood grocery store. I can’t speak on that subject; they haven’t yet arrived in tech-savvy Northern California. But I have a pet supermarket peeve too: people who (a) pay by check and (b) wait until the last minute to even begin LOOKING for their checkbooks.

I used to write checks at the grocery store too. And I always had mine completely filled out, ready to write the amount as soon as it displayed. How hard is this? Chances are you know you’re going to be writing a check. Why not save the people in line behind you a little time? Are you so fucking self-obsessed that you don’t even notice them? Or just so fucking rude that you don’t care?

It baffles me how so many people seem to get through their entire lives completely oblivious to other people. Is it the same people over and over again who drive 45 in the fast lane on the freeway, let their devil-spawn scream through movies, and spend 20 minutes picking out just the right Happy Meal toy at the fast food place? Or is this becoming a really common national malady?

I’m not perfect and I’m also not the most patient person in the world, but at least I try to behave publicly in a way which will not seriously impede the motion of (or waste the time of) other people. I get off the bus by the rear door so people getting on don’t have to wait and hold up everything. I actually wait and turn at the next intersection rather than coming to a complete stop and blocking traffic when I realize I’m in the wrong lane. I always try to park in a way that lets another car fit on the curb too.

Why do so many otherwise intelligent and considerate people think it’s OK to fill out their deposit envelopes AT the ATM while there are five people waiting to use it? And why do people wear enormous backpacks in crowded bars at midnight? Or walk slowly down narrow sidewalks hand in hand so that no one can get around them in either direction? Or come barrelling out of stores without bothering to look and see who they’re about to run into?

I guess most of these things aren’t officially rudeness, but more a type of cluelessness, or maybe carelessness. But how is it possible to spend significant parts of your life without knowing or caring that there are other people spending theirs in the same universe as you?