Monday, August 1, 2011

The Red Car and the Credit Card Machine

Last night, while I was bagging my groceries, the lady behind me in line pushed her cart (one of those with the red plastic car attached to the front and a whiny little boy inside) all the way up in front of the credit card swiping machine. I had to lean over the red car to pay for my groceries. I started to feel annoyed, then I realized I'm just flat out tired of being annoyed at people, so I need to talk myself out of this.

I'm quite sure this woman did not intend to make my life difficult by putting her cart there. She wasn't being malicious -- just discourteous. She was absorbed in her self and her son and her own little world there and didn't notice where her "space" was intruding on mine. I've done it before, too. Now, when she saw me leaning precariously over her son's car to sign the credit card machine, she probably should have noticed. Most people would have said, "Oh! I'm sorry I'm in your way!", and moved their cart back. But she didn't.

My choices in the situation? I could have asked her to move it, but no matter how nicely said, I'd have been pointing out her lack of courtesy to everyone there and would have shamed her to a degree, even if she had taken it well. I could have kept my mouth shut but mentally screamed at her (and at the whole of society which has gone downhill enough to allow such behavior to become the norm), probably with the addition of a subtle dirty look her direction. But that would have been completely non-productive -- it wouldn't change her behavior one bit, and it just would have caused me to suffer more by increasing my aggravation.

So, I just leaned over the red car, signed the swiper thing, and moved on. It's a small inconvenience, not worth causing a ruckus, embarrassing her, or raising my own blood pressure over. And I made a mental note to myself to do this more often.

I read something this morning about a man stopping his car, getting out, and punching another driver in the face over some supposed traffic violation. How in the world do you get to that point?? By allowing yourself to habitually think the worst of others and feel abused whenever life isn't a rose garden. A habit of thinking I need to break myself of.

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