I was at a local store waiting in line, like most Americans have learned how to do. The lady in front of me was loading her items onto the space by the cash register when the lady at another cash register looked at me and said I can take you over here. So – I took my cart and went to her cash register and by the time it took me to get there – a few seconds – this elderly gentleman was standing there laughing at me while praising himself for getting in front of me.
Now, I’ve been raised to respect my elders and looking at 60 this year, I understand that whole respect thing even more, but this man was an asshole. I’m sorry, but there isn’t any other way to describe him.
As he continued to laugh at me and taunt me for the few seconds it took me to get to the register and how he was so proud of himself for getting in front of me, I decided that I’d had enough. I told him I didn’t think he was funny, I just thought he was a rude, mean old man. Then I proceeded to tell him that he was partly to blame for what the world has become. He was part of the attitude that permeates throughout America. That get there first, be first in line no matter what it takes, no matter who you step on attitude. He just kept laughing at me and saying it didn’t matter what I said – he got there first – It was like an elderly nanny, nanny, nanny thing. I found it all so unsettling.
This is where we are in this country. This is what we’ve become. A nation of I’m going to beat you or get there first or have something better than you no matter what it takes, no matter who I have to walk on to get there. There are no rules, no standards by which we hold ourselves to, no pride in who we are as a people. It’s all about coming in first – looking the best – driving the best car – having the best house – wearing the best clothes – and don’t even get me started on shoes or purses!
It was like that commercial at Christmas about buying your loved one a Lexus! People are losing their jobs, losing their homes and losing their self-respect in the process – and the powers that be think we’ll be buying a new Lexus for Christmas.!? It made no sense to me – on any level. I know folks who had trouble affording to buy a Christmas tree. A Lexus? Really?
I watched that elderly man walk briskly out of the store still laughing and feeling all proud of himself and I just shook my head. This is where we are – this is who we’ve become.
As I was walking to my car I started to think: “I wonder what kind of vitamins he takes.” I mean he got to that register in record time…