Angry People Make Me Sad – Grocery Store Edition

I was off work today.  So, today was “Grocery Day” for me and my Sweetie.

We have to have a dedicated grocery “day” because we have a store we like for produce and meat, a store we like for staples, like cereal and soft drinks and a third store where we get everything/anything else we can’t get at the other two stores.  It sounds like a lot of work but it is actually fun – I love to shop and spend money (no matter on what or where) plus it is still fun to watch my Angel discover new things.  For example, today we gambled on a new salad dressing, Newman’s Own Lighten Up! Cranberry Walnut Dressing.  We are currently on a big healthy eating/salads kick so we treat ourselves to a new salad dressing each trip to the store.  BTW, that dressing?  Delicious!!!


Anyway, we were at the second of our three store tour when an incident happened that made me sad.  As we were waiting to turn into an aisle, a well-dressed woman in her 30’s turned in before us (which was fine), only to get shouted down by an older woman – clearly in her 60’s or older – who accused the younger lady of cutting her off and being “pushy.”  When the younger woman apologized and said she was merely coming into the aisle to pass the older lady, whom she thought had stopped to shop the shelves, the older lady shot back, “No, I was waiting to exit the aisle and you just pushed in” to which the younger woman replied, “Well, I can’t read your mind! and scooted on right past her.

Road Rage, in Aisle 12, Road Rage in Aisle 12!


It made me sad inside to see what are probably two lovely women – just two people – all but shouting each other down about something so insignificant.  I assume each had suffered some sort of earlier aggravation and this moment just allowed each of them to vent their anger, albeit at each other.  Sad, really…

I have a need to “make up” back stories for people when I don’t know them (I know, my therapist tells me all the time NOT to do this).  Anyhow, for the two ladies today –

The older lady was shopping alone, using oxygen to help her breathe (this part is true) and she had been dropped off by one of her ungrateful children who were inconvenienced by the fact that she needed to go to the grocery.  They had dropped her at the door and gone to get a Starbucks while she was left to fend for herself alone (this is the part I made up)…

The younger lady was smartly dressed with a really cute haircut (this part is true).  She had just come from the hair salon where her appointment had been late and was just running in the store to grab a few things quickly before rushing to pick up her daughters from swim lessons and was really on a tight schedule (this is the part I made up).

Both were frustrated and anxious, hurrying to complete their shopping and get on with their respective days (this I believe to be true).  Then the cut-off/smack-down incident happened…

I know I have unreasonable expectations for human behavior but I wish we would/could all just be a little kinder to one another.  I wish we could all just “slow it down” a bit and extend simple courtesies and respect to one another.

I was always taught to “Smile at old people – they deserve it” and, now that I am an older person myself, I wish more people would smile at me, and just smile in general.  Even though I tried to pass both those ladies in the store to give them “smiles,”  they got away before I could find them.

So, even though the events of today happened as they happened  this is how I am gonna’ write the ending in my head:


Today, I hope everyone reading this will smile at a stranger – and, I hope they smile back at you…

I wanna’ start a war

I am sad by many things happening in society today – crazy gun “stuff,” the inequality that still exists between men and women – heck, what about the inequality that just exists in general? – growing unemployment/lack of opportunity, the list is almost never-ending. It makes me sad; it actually makes my heart hurt at times, to witness how uncivil and cruel the world has become. The world has to change – and soon!

And, as rudimentary and overly-simplified as it may seem, I think the solution to many, MANY of the world’s problems would begin if everyone would just make an effort to say these two words every day:


(click image above for a discussion of thanks)

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think that for the most part, today’s world exists largely devoid of manners. It’s appalling how badly we treat one another. Here’s what I mean – think about the last time someone not paid to do so (think retail store clerk or coffee house barista) actually said “Thank you” to you. Can you remember? Even better yet, when was the last time YOU thanked someone – sincerely – for a kindness or favor?

Here’s another exercise…


Think about the last time you “cussed somebody out” or gave someone “a piece of your mind” (and hopefully it’s NOT the aforementioned retail store clerk or coffee house barista!) It’s kinda’ sad that we can all remember THAT situation, right? I guess I am lucky – I had old-skool Southern grandparents that taught me that, even when I didn’t like someone, I still had to be polite. I mean I say “Sir” and “Ma’am” – that is so uncommon here in Ohio that I routinely have people comment that it is “…clear I was in the service because no one has manners like that who hasn’t been a soldier.”

Really? Do only ex-soldiers have manners/social graces?

And don’t even get me started on thank you notes. Wow, I know – it takes effort to actually get a card (buy a box – it’s easy!), hand-write a personalized note inside, address an envelope and actually stamp and mail it. Ugh! Such work…

So, here it what I propose – let’s all go to war…



Let’s begin a cultural war on impoliteness and crude manners. I  mean, it would be like being mean, only to mean people – follow? Get cruddy service at a restaurant? THANK the server for his/her time and attention. They will wonder what the heck is wrong with you but, that small investment of your time will make the NEXT person have a better experience, I promise.

(click image above for “how to write a thank you note”)

Picking up some dry-cleaning? THANK the counter person for getting your clothes so quickly. That “kindness seed” will grow and then they, in turn, will give a THANKS to someone they encounter. It’s like the whole concept of paying it forward; eventually, the goodwill you put out – the civility, the politeness – it WILL come back to you, I swear…

Listen – I cannot fight this battle alone, so PLEASE help me make the world a kinder, gentler place. THANK YOU in advance for all your help…   😉