Monday, April 12, 2010

courteous or expectation?

Today i find myself wondering if the human condition is to be rude to all around?

On arriving home from the grocery store this morning, i realized both Claire and myself would be carrying up the load by ourselves. Normally Michael is with us and he takes the heavy bags up for us. So, as we now live in a building with a parking garage, a door entry with a key to enter the building, and then an elevator... i realized i would have to twist and turn my arms to manage getting things done with bags now weighing down my arms! But as i realized my situation i noticed that there was a women walking into the garage entry... i thought to myself, "saved! she sees us and will hold the door open for us!" This did not happen. After managing to enter the building by fumbling with my keys, i see the same woman standing waiting for the elevator. (there are two elevators, but 1 was in "priority use" - which means someone was moving today) Claire and i stood behind this woman for what seemed like forever... the bags growing ever heavier on both of our arms. Claire mentioned that she must have gotten the heavier bags, but i assured her mine were just as heavy. I am quite certain the woman heard us talking about how heavy the bags were.

Finally! The elevator arrived and the lady stepped in, she pushed her button and went about ignoring us. I stood there twisting and turning my arm trying to push the button for our floor. It seemed like i was trying to push a button forever. But as i stood there with my heavy bags - both arms full and trying not to drop my keys out of my hand - i notices that this woman could care less that i was struggling. She stood there with her stupid lip ring and funky hair style just playing on her iphone and making that "a-hughhhh" noise that people make when they are annoyed with a situation. A situation mind you that would have went much faster had she only offered to help me out by pushing a silly button.

There are times in life when i expect things from other people. this was one of those instances. but it also occurs to me that i should not expect help from any other person on this planet other than myself. Sadly, when push comes to shove - everyone is only out for themselves. Especially in the West! It should not be this way, but the reality of the game is that most people are only willing to help themselves around here.

I realize i say this often, so forgive my bit of complaining here... living in the midwest my entire life and for a brief few months in the deep south - there is no place nicer than the south - but having lived in the mid-west my entire life, i have come to expect people to be... NICE! And i often wonder if that is too much to ask in another human being. Am i asking too much for a neighbor to hold the door for me when she sees we have our hands full? Am i asking too much for a person to notice something is needed and help out - extend me a common courtesy?

I will never get use to living in California, everyone is in a hurry to get nowhere - and they could care less about helping anyone or being nice, there's no time for nice because they are in a hurry - to get nowhere!  Each day i am made more and more aware of this fact - and it makes me sad to realize just how little people can truly care about helping their fellow man/woman.  Cali is a lot like New York City - only at least in New York City it is just the one city and when you go there you do not expect people to be nice. Here in California it is the entire state - i have yet to find a store, restaurant, city center, etc where the people are courteous and helpful. Even the park rangers have a stick up the ass and have no interest in being kind to the people who visit. This was pretty obvious on our recent adventure to Yosemite. I suppose the rangers put up with a lot of tourists each year, so this wasn't of a great surprise when i got attitude from the Park Ranger when i asked him where i could get a map of the park.

I suppose i grew use to the simple things in life being just that... simple.  If i flashed a smile at a stranger when passing them in an isle, they would almost surely smile back. If i do that here, i get a look of "who the hell are you - and why the F are you smiling at me?!" If i asked a person working at a store where i could locate an item - in the mid-west (and the south!) they would take me to the item - here they ramble off an isle number in the store and point their finger in a general location and then walk away from you before you can ask them any more questions. I have had people working in stores tell me to "move" out of their way because they needed to shelf items and that they were "there first". It baffles the mind to think these people are the "peace loving" hippy type people who supposedly made this state so great back in the 60's. It seems all of the negative, bitch, sarcastic people have taken over - i'd love to find a hippy with a smile on their face!

I certainly hope to return to the mid-west or the midwest at some point in my life. I can not truly see myself living amongst the hate and slum of humanity and still hope to escape becoming just like it. Until then, i'll keep doing what i do - help those who require help, with a smile on my face and a spring in my step and by taking my sweet ass time.  If the negatives who live here don't like it, then they can push me out of their way ;-)

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