I like people. You probably wouldn’t know it if you met me at a party (chances of that are already slim), because I’d be sitting in a chair, eating cheese and interacting with no one. But, generally speaking, I do like people. I think they’re fun and interesting. And most of them are nice. But sometimes, something happens and the cynic in me starts to ooze out of my pores, turning me into a misanthropic, anti-social, brooding bitch.
Usually, it happens after I’ve done something embarrassing in front of a whole bunch of people. At first, I get upset with myself for doing something humiliating, but in the end I blame the other people for being present during my public misfortune.
A few weeks ago at work, we were getting ready to entertain some clients. On my lunch break I volunteered to go pick up some Goldfish, cheese, and other miscellaneous snacks for their stay. The closest place to pick up groceries is the Bistro Market downtown. I park, pick up a half-size shopping cart (the only size available) and finish my aisle rounds. Nothing too embarrassing yet.
After I’m done paying, I start to roll out of the market with my cart full of goodies. The automatic door opens and BAM, my cart spills forward, and I tumble over it, falling into a pile of Gruyère and Aquafina.
[Stares into the market briefly, begging (with her eyes) for someone to come to her aid]
“Oh my god, oh my god.” (mumbling to the cheese)
[Gets up and tries to put everything back while the automatic door REPEATEDLY HITS THE CART]
“Stop it, stop it.” [Trying to fight off automatic door]
[Finally, an elderly man comes over to offer his assistance]
Elderly man: “Well that sucked, didn’t it?”
Me: “Yes. Yes, it did. Thank you.”
[Walks back to car with cart, giving the stink eye to everyone who didn’t offer to help her] “Bunch of jerks.”
You know why no one helps people in embarrassing situations? Because they’re usually pretty damn funny to watch from the outside. In fact, the worst part about this story is that a week prior to this event, I had been sitting in the restaurant across from the Bistro Market, seen a woman fall on her back while she struggled to save her iced coffee, and tried desperately to stifle my laughter.
People are wonderful because they do hilarious things. People are awful because they sit idly by while hilarious (but unfortunate) things happen to others.