I never thought I would make the transition so soon but I am becoming one of those grumpy old curmudgeons that seems to never be happy. I mean I am happy. I have a beautiful wife and an adorable son. I have a good (albeit stressful) job and I am not want for much. I guess I just hate that people take advantage of others instead of working just as hard as I do to get what I want.
The classic hair-pullingly frustrating example was today at the grocery store. It wasn’t the slow and inattentive cashiers, it wasn’t even the inconsiderate folks who wedge their family of 12 into one of the aisles completely grid locking it and my ability to purchase yogurt in tube form. Nope, my issue was much more sinister and selfish. As I am pushing Tom through the bakery section which is designed to keep all the tasty pastries and cakes at Tom’s eye level, Tom said he wanted a cookie. The bakery at Hannafords is really awesome about offering a cookie to children who are 12 and under. Its like a concession to the already stressed parents who have to wrangle their kids though a store that is designed for impulse. The 5 minutes of pleasure and distraction that a single sugar cookie can offer is priceless. So, I head to the small 12″ bin on the pastry counter to grab Tom one of these 5 minute timeout cookies. Except I have to wait. I figured hey no big deal, another parent is looking for the same calgon moment. Except this parent looks more like my parents (maybe in her mid to late 60’s). Ok, cool. Gramma is helping watch little Timmy or Rachel for the afternoon. Nope. Not a single other person around. Just an elderly lady stealing cookies. Cookies that Hannaford’s doesn’t need to offer and definitely doesn’t intend for its older patrons. I tried to ignore it, grab Tom his cookie, and assume that this women’s cookie intentions were noble. Like so many times in society today, I wasn’t wrong. I notice this same women 5 minutes later nibbling away in the salad dressing aisle. Argh!!!! I wanted to say something but was crippled by the thought that maybe my anger is unwarranted. Maybe she has a good reason to take cookies from children. Maybe she has some reason besides being a common cookie thief and overall, bad person. It’s sad because I am sure this wasn’t her first or last time doing such a thing. Eventually, I am sure Hannaford in an effort to control costs and minimize cookie consumption will eliminate them all together and then has anyone truly won besides our cookie thief.
Back to me and moving beyond the universally implications of this cookie stealing event, I am just frustrated that I didn’t say a word. Just internalized my frustration and kept the cart moving forward. Tom was completely unaware of the situation and content with the sugary goodness of his own cookie. I guess sometimes its better to just say nothing if you have nothing nice to say. I am sure Karma will work itself out. But I wonder and feel free to comment, would I have been just in saying something? Is my lack of action help her justify the behavior? Did I do the right thing?
What are your thoughts?