Surreal Observations

I am beginning to question whether or not I’ve been living under a rock, because some of my recent observations caught me off-guard.  Recently, I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few necessities before bad weather reached us later that day.  There I was, walking through the store with a pleasant demeanor and smile, but no one else was.  That was my first observation.

In the freezer section, a little boy was determined to not permit me to open the door I needed to get a frozen pizza.  His mother stood 2 feet away and watched as this 8-10 year old did everything possible to intentionally block my way.  He wasn’t being cute; he was doing it in a spiteful manner and mom did nothing to correct him or hurry him along.  I silently wondered to myself why this mother would not correct this boy.  The answer?  She never has, so why start now?  It was sad to see that.

People walked around like zombies.  Middle aged people and older were very rude, didn’t care if they were in your way, and certainly didn’t move to give you the right of way.  This happened less than a minute after the freezer incident.  I almost expect this from younger people, but certainly not the boomers.  Our parents taught us better than that.

Then, when I checked out with an armful of items, the cashier didn’t speak at all, not even to give me the total!  It felt for a moment that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, with the wrong people.  Was it a full moon, or what?

As I walked out, an elderly male employee was sweeping the entrance and having a hard time bending down to adjust the carpet mats, so people wouldn’t slip.  My heart really went out to him.  He had to be 75 years old, and here he was still working, still stooping, and bless his heart, he was the only one who wished me a good day and gave me a huge smile.  I flashed him a huge smile right back and wished him a great day.

I’m a little disappointed in myself for allowing this experience with the zombies to have affected my personality.  I let it get the best of me and it turned me into a sour person.  I was even aware I was scowling at one point!

But in the midst of the dark there is always light, such as the elderly gentleman who, in spite of his pain, wholeheartedly greeted me with kindness and care.  His smile made me smile.  Then I remembered this:  make yourself familiar with angels, and behold them frequently in spirit, for without being seen, they are ever-present with you.  Well, sometimes they are seen!

© 2013 Julie Hall

3 thoughts on “Surreal Observations

  1. Glad I am not the only one…I was looking in a rack of sale PJ’s size small and a women came by and literally pushed me aside to look at at the items I was looking at. She was a larger women to begin with and then knocked to the floor 3 items..then walked away ..I picked up the items but was so miffed the whole day because things like this just kept happening.

  2. Julie, Have seen much the same at Costco, particularly around the food carts where people push and shove to get their little sample and leave their carts scattered about blocking the aisles for other shoppers. Zombies is a good term – people seem to be oblivious to everything but their own little worlds and “me first” concerns. Its a sad commentary of the state of civility and manners!
    btw – have just finished reading you book & have passed it on to my husband to read. Many helpful pointers! While I’m an”only” with no one to argue with over division of “stuff”, that also means I also have all the responsibilities! I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband!

  3. As someone who works every day with the public, I find that many more people today are short-tempered and carelessly rude. Since this is a reflection of their general unhappiness with life, it means that too many do not realize how lucky they are.

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