Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rudeness and Hypocracy

I just made an emergency trip to Wal-mart for some margarine. My wallet is empty, my bank account is low, but I had some coins in my car, and I was about to make breakfast. Everything went fine. I found my favorite (second-favorite) brand of margarine for 74¢, which was in today's price range. As I left, feeling foolish that I had even bothered getting a shopping cart, (but not really, because with extreme arthritis in both knees, I use the shopping cart as a crutch), I started to put the cart back in the slot where I found it, when another shopper walked in the door. I smiled and said "this is a good cart," as I walked past her. She thanked me, took the cart, and continued into the store.

Outside, as I started my car, I noticed the parking space next to mine had a shopping cart blocking one of the parking spaces closest to the store. I wanted to point and shout "RUDE!" but since there was no one to point at, and in fact no one to hear me, I remained silent. As I drove away, I self-righteously complemented myself that in spite of painful arthritis, and the fact that the trip back to the car without a "crutch" is always more painful than walking to put the cart away, I have "never" failed to put my cart away.

Then I noticed some trash on the side of the road, and I thought "leaving a shopping cart in the middle of a parking lot is just as bad as littering. It ought to be illegal." Then I remembered that I often have justified throwing apple cores into the woods, saying to myself, it won't be there by morning, or walking a distance (years ago) and tearing paper into tiny pieces I could roll into grains of paper sand, and eventually have nothing left to throw away by the time I reached a suitable disposal area. Then I remembered what it was like to have three children alone with me on a shopping trip, when at least two of them were still very small and hyperactive.

Now I used to make a point of arranging my situations to avoid problems when I had small children with me, so I would have parked next to a shopping cart corral, if I were in that position. I don't recall ever leaving a cart and not putting it away, but if I were faced with the choice of leaving children unattended, or leaving a cart for someone else to put away, I would have left the cart, and stayed with my children. So I guess my first reaction depends on circumstances, and my indignation was squelched with the realization that except for the Grace of God, I could have been that rude person.