Living in southern North Carolina, one would think I'd be far enough south of the Mason Dixon line to experience that good old Southern Hospitality and Charm. Granted we don't live in the *Deep South* of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, but you'd think Southern Charm extended to most, if not all of the *southern* states. Yeah, not so much.
I have no explanation for the way I see people treat each other. As an example, this morning I went to pick Jimmy up after he'd been out on the road since Monday night. He asked if I'd like to have Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. I'm not much on donuts, but do like them now and again. I also knew it's time for them to have their pumpkin donuts so I said sure, let's go get donuts. The closest one happens to be in a Wilco Hess convenience store not too far from our house. So off we go, pull into the parking lot, he gets out and goes inside. I sit in the truck and wait, and wait and wait. I'm thinking to myself what's taking him so long to get half a dozen donuts and a cup of coffee? Finally he comes out, tries to get in the truck and the vehicle parked right next to us begins backing out of their spot coming THISCLOSE to hitting Jimmy. The guy leaves, never paused in his backing, never acknowledged he may have been a bit careless and goes about his merry way.
Jimmy gets in our truck, and off towards home we go. I ask him if he's OK, and what happened in the store to take so long. I thought he was gonna explode! It seems there was this woman who came in while he was adding creamer to his coffee (after he'd already boxed up the donuts) and ELBOWS him out of her way. Now Jimmy manners are exquisite. He moved out of the woman's way, said pardon me, and moved around to the OTHER side of the counter to finish fixing his coffee. The woman finishes fixing her coffee, comes around to the side of the counter Jimmy is still working at and again elbows him out of her way and REACHES ACROSS IN FRONT OF HIM to grab 3 Kcups of coffee for what he can only guess is her coffee maker at home. And not once did she say excuse me or try to be any type of polite. By now he's completely flabbergasted by this woman's behavior, so he waits for her to finish and go up to the counter to pay for her items. After she leaves, he pays for ours and comes out to almost be hit in the process of trying to get into our truck.
This morning's incident isn't an isolated or occasional occurrence. NO! This type of behavior seems to be for the most part the normal, expected and excused behavior I have run across since we have been here in NC. Let me make myself clear here: I said for the MOST part, and not everyone we have contact with behaves in this manner. But again, most of the time I see this each and every time I go to the store, or the mall, or the Dr's office, or a restaurant, on the telephone to the electric company in my area (it's a locally owned co-op and there is a local office), or anywhere out in public. And it makes me ask WHY?
I know times are tough and many people are angry and many of them have justification for that anger. I don't understand how they can be rude to the people they encounter. What happened to saying a simple thank you when someone holds a door for you? Or what happened to letting a mother and child walk through that same door ahead of you when you are not only alone, but ambling along on your own sweet time, UNTIL you get to the door and there is a woman and baby there and you gotta jump in front of her to get in the store before she does. Are you afraid she's going to buy the last gallon of milk before you can get to it?
Maybe this type of behavior is happening all over the country, I don't know about that. All I can attest to is the unacceptable behavior I'm seeing from the majority of the people I have met or run into here in North Carolina. And it makes me sad and ashamed, and sorry I ever moved here in the first place. I've lived in many places in my life, but I can't ever remember a time when I had to deal with consistently rude and obnoxious behavior from the people I deal with every day...
I give you my word, even if I'm having a bad day, I WILL say Thank You if you hold a door for me, I will let you go in the door first if you have a small child in your arms, and I won't elbow you out of the way at the coffee counter, no matter where it is. I will make a concerted effort to be more polite and courteous, in any given situation...