I never knew what it was like to go through life bitter. Or cynical. I always assumed, for the most part, that people felt how I did and dealt with their problems in a similar fashion. When I saw people get worked up about stuff, I kind of assumed that they were looking for attention or made some cognitive effort at being mad. I didn't think it could come that easily.
Well, I take everything back. I've been coming to realize that people are just wired differently. It seem silly that I'm just coming around to this now, but it's true. I thought people had a default position that was like mine. Today I got a taste of cynicism in it's purest form.
I was at Fred Myer today. That's like a Raley's or Ralph's meets Target for you guys in California. I was just looking for a book to read. For some reason, the selection bothered me. There was a Bourne book in it's fifteenth sequel (written by a different author). And there were a couple Star Wars books, which Ive never read, but since I liked the movies I thought I'd at least give the back cover a glance. Gay. Totally effing gay. I don't mean gay like homosexual, but gay like extra faggotty. Didn't even have Han Solo or Darth Vader. Come on. Grabbed a Star Trek book with high hopes and it was some ultra gay spinoff thing. Didn't have anything approaching Kirk.
So I was just fuming in the book aisle. I don't get mad like this ever. But I was prepared to judge the whole store because of a few books. It could have been that they were sold out of the good books. It could have been that they had such good books that they sold out in a day because everyone knows how good the books at Freddy's are. Nope. I was going with everyone was a raging commie.
Then I got to the checkout line. And when I was done buying all my stuff the lady kinda looked at me. It was like three hundred dollars worth of stuff. And she asked if I wanted a bag. Uhhh...Ya lady. I'd like a bag. She told me it was five cents for a bag. And she tried to fit everything in one pathetic excuse for a paper bag with no handles. Hey lady, I'll splurge for the extra bag. Money is no object when it comes to bags. The lady behind me was beaming with pride that Seattle finally passed a law that was so environmentally conscious. Oh, and they were selling canvas bags there too. I wanted to scream, "Oh come on! this is a racket!" No one would have cared. So I just made a little comment about that and went about my business.
I gotta tell you though, the self satisfied smugness of everyone there almost got me upset. I cooled off by then. I don't want to get into a tit for tat thing with these people. If they feel better about re using bags that's cool. I didn't want to get into how many more people are gonna turn to plastic because they no longer get paper bags to use as garbage bags at home. I didn't need to get into how 'corporate' and 'capitalist' it is to sell bags at the checkout where you are charged for bags. It's cool.
I'd calmed down. I think the point is that I felt bitterness for about a ten minute period. It went away, but I felt it. And I thought about what a bummer it is for people to go through life like that. Especially people who don't like people and want to save the world and get mad when everyone doesn't do the things that they do. That's gotta be a bummer. Having seen it both ways, I'm not ashamed to admit that it's best to mind your own business and worry about your own problems before fixing everyone else. Getting mad about things you can't control is for the birds.