I’m talking about the “Please-Thank-You-Ma’am-You’re-Welcome-Good-Mornin’-Holding-The-Door-Offering-Help” type of Cowboy, here. Not this type of cowboy.
So, where have they gone? Where have the considerate people gone? How hard is it to say “please” and “thank you?” How hard is it to hold the door when someone is directly behind you? How hard is it to not jump in front of someone in line? How hard is it to not offer unsolicited advice? How hard is it to not get in a strangers face? How hard is it to apologize when you bump into someone?
To you: four guys in a beat-up old car driving 50 miles per hour down a residential street. Thanks for taking the time to consider the fact that there are children who live on this street. Thanks for considering the fact that they could at any moment run into the street, or that their basketball could roll away from them, or a pet could decide to walk away. Thanks for being so courteous as to almost hit a soccer-mom as she backed out of her driveway, with four children in the minivan, not expecting someone to be driving down her quiet residential street like they are on the highway. But mostly, thanks for honking your horn three times as you drove by me. I love it when someone honks at me, making my skin jump off of my body just in time to join my stomach behind me. I love knowing that you took the time to notice me.
To you: the one who does not know how to say “thank you.” When I saw you coming from across the way, I recognized that you lived in the same building. I saw that you were carrying two grocery bags, and thought about how difficult it is to unlock and open a door with your hands full. So, I held the door. You slowly made your way up to the door, bumped into me, and walked through the door. It’s okay, because my job is to hold the door for you. I understand that you went out of your way to walk through the door that I was holding. And the bruise on my left arm? No worries! You didn’t apologize for running into me so it wasn’t a big deal at all.
To you: short older woman who can’t follow the rules. Thank you for being so considerate as to ignore the four people waiting in line. We all patiently filed in, one at a time, into one line behind two open registers. This is because it goes faster when everyone waits in one line. This is because we are all courteous people. Thank you, though, for deciding that we were just being friendly lining up behind each other, and thank you for walking in front of all of us to the cashier who had just opened up her register. And, most importantly, thank you for sighing and calling me a “rude child” when I politely informed you (“Ma’am”) that there were four people in line.
To you: concierge who can’t manage a smile. I know you have a very boring job, sitting there opening the door for the elderly people in the building, among other things. So, I think it’s great that your response to “Good Morning!” with a smile on my face is a grunt and nod. I think it’s even better that when I show you my package slip left by UPS that you slide the package-signing sheet through the tiny slot for me to sign. It was also so nice of you to try to slide my package, which explicitly said “fragile” and “do not bend,” through that same tiny slot. When it wouldn’t fit, much to your surprise, it was nice of you to not bother standing up to pass it to me. Mostly, though, I want to thank you for always staring at me as I get into the elevator. It is clear that you do not like me, as I have never managed a smile from you. But it’s okay, because you stare at people and make them uncomfortable walking into their apartment building. I love feeling judged as I come home.