Where the hell is everyone rushing off to?

Shopping Cart Mishap by Ryan Wiedmaier

So as of late I’ve noticed people are always in a rush.  Or at least, that they seem to be in more of a rush than I can remember from the past.  It could just be that I’m taking life at a more leisurely pace myself, although I really don’t think that’s the case.  I don’t ever recall being in so much of a rush myself.  Well, except for when I was going to college as a full-time student, and working full-time, and holding an internship, and picking up extra shifts at my internship to make the most of it, and running five miles a day, six days a week.  But that was a different time back then.  I was 10 years younger and a couple dozen pounds lighter… pero bueno, as I said, that’s beside the point.

Tonight, for example, we went to Target to pick up a few things for the house.  We were talking and laughing on our way into the store.  Edgar and I were trailing behind Anjelica, horsing around like we normally do.  She turned to see how far behind her we were, and the guy who had power-walked past me and Edgar zoomed by her so quickly they almost had a head-on collision.   I swear, for a moment I expected her to do a full 360 spin after he walked away.  She didn’t, and instead we just looked at each other and said “Well, damn!” with our eyes.  I then proceeded to point out how everyone seems to be in so much of a rush these days.

If I recall correctly, then I started walking really fast myself, swinging my arms from side to side, with my eyes dead-locked ahead, to demonstrate what I was talking about.  I made myself laugh at the very least.

Earlier tonight we had also visited a local grocery store inside the loop (the more urban area in Houston).  We sent Edgar to get a shopping cart for us.  I stood at the door and watched to make sure he hurried up and actually brought it to us.  He’s a rambunctious boy so he has a tendency to be easily distracted.  In those less than 30 seconds before he brought the cart over no less than three full grown adults had dilly-dallied about, scattering around him, trying to push their carts in front of him to just hurry up and get inside the store.  None of them did because again I was standing there at the door watching and waiting for Edgar, and giving every one of those full grown adults that look that my parents used to give me when they caught me doing something they knew I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing.  We proceeded to do our shopping, and of course, Edgar insisted on pushing around the cart for a bit.

He and I always go back and forth with the cart because again, he is a boy and he tends to want to play around, including by pushing the shopping cart back and forth.  That drives me crazy because I always try to drive the cart on one side of the aisle or the other… not down the middle of the lane, which he seems to prefer.  Inside the loop this is especially impossible because other shoppers always seem to be dashing past you, in front of you, beside you, or just trailing by behind you so closely you can almost feel them breathing down your neck, or about to crash into you with their carts.  Having said that, on this particular trip, Edgar was still driving the cart.  He leaned in and was wiggling his legs on the cart at about a 90 degree angle.  We were looking at the cheese by now, when I went to tell him to stop playing around, but got distracted by the guy maneuvering back and forth trying to walk around Edgar and our cart and then rolling his eyes when he walked right past us.

It took everything in me not to grab the loaf of bread we had in the cart and chunk it at him.  It was natural wheat too so it would have hurt.  Mejor, me aguante las ganas and we finished up our shopping.  Then at the register, again another shopper mugged us for “getting in their way!”  That made me wonder.  Where the hell are all these people in such a rush to get to?  Are we missing something?  Should we all be running through the store, throwing things in our carts as fast as possible, and racing each other to the self-pay registers, in order to type in our phone numbers and the fruit and vegetable codes as fast as our little fingers can type?  If we are, I want to first know why?

Why must we live our lives at such a fast pace?

Sure we all have responsibilities.  We all have somewhere to be.  Right now.  Five minutes ago.  Yesterday.  I know.  I’m not ignorant to the fact that we all have jobs, households, families, classes, work, appointments, traffic, etc.  I wish I could afford to never rush again in my life, but alas that’s not the case.  On more than one occasion I have sat in traffic yelling all kinds of obscenities at the drivers ahead of me.  They just don’t seem to have any clue about how to drive appropriately or get the hell out of my way.  Yet I’m the same person who has to wonder “where the hell is everyone rushing off to?”

I’m not a hundred percent certain that there’s a point to this post.  Other than to vent about the folks who can’t seem to handle a family shopping together without pretending like there’s an angry mob chasing them around.  I just want to say “¡YA! ¡Cálmense!  Breathe a little, and for once consider enjoying the freedom of not always being on the clock.”  Life is so much sweeter that way.  In my opinion.