I was chatting with my mother this past Sunday evening when she told me about an incident that happened to her in the grocery store earlier in the day that, on one hand, almost made me laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it, and, on the other hand, made me want to hit someone.
She said she was pushing her grocery cart up the center aisle of the store -- a big Kroger in a nicer area of town -- where a huge display of Valentine's Day merchandise in the center aisle had created essentially two aisles, one on the right side of the display and one on the left. The aisles were narrow, but wide enough for two buggies to pass.
As she pushed her cart up one side, however, she came across a woman and her cart parked in the middle of the aisle where my mother could not pass with her cart. My mother is generally a very patient person and so she stopped her cart and waited, thinking it would just be a moment while the woman picked out her bread. After more than a moment of waiting, the woman finally looked up and acknowledged her presence, but instead of saying, "Oh, I'm sorry, I see I have blocked the aisle," she said, "What?" making a face that clearly showed her anger at being imposed upon.
My mother ignored the tone and answered the question, "I'm just waiting to get past" which apparently was considered a stupid statement by this woman who responded, "Can't you just go around?" Meaning "Can't you just go back down the aisle and around the huge display of, ironically, red heart-shaped candy boxes and love-adorned novelties, and stay away from me?"
My mother, again ignoring the tone but probably starting to simmer inside said, "I thought I could wait" probably infuriating the woman even more as she responded, "What do you want me to do?"
Honestly I can't tell you how the story ended, whether my mother pulled her cart back down the aisle or the woman maneuvered her own cart closer to the shelf so she could push her cart past. By the time my mother got to the end of the story I was seeing red.
I suppose if we lived in a more metropolitan area I would encounter such situations more often, but, frankly, I'm the kind of person that apologizes all over myself in the grocery store and most other people in our town are the same way. I can't even imagine being the kind of person that would ask "What?" of a person waiting patiently for me to get out of the way. My husband, however, was reading the Wall Street Journal last night and came across an article about just this topic and apparently people with this sort of behavior have a named disorder: Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome. I guess giving it a name makes those individuals feel better, but frankly, I would call it Jerky Person Syndrome, or more realistically, Person with No Faith Syndrome.
Honestly, can you have faith in the God who created you and your fellow man and have such disdain for a person who simply walks a bit slower, or expects to share space with you? Not that people who are impatient with each other can't have religion, but can you have such hate for your fellow man if you claim to love the God that created all men?
Some days, I tell you, people make me want to find a cave and move in.