There are times when I'd like to share something with you but my Voice in the Garden site does not seem the appropriate place, thus, this blog.

There are experiences, thoughts, views... and for anyone lurking/waiting to pounce (as has occurred on several occasions), please do not attempt to turn what I post into a political statement. This is NOT a political site, but IS about occurrences, reality, and personal opinion concerning what I see in the world around me and my family. There are many excellent writers whose works "speak" to me, and I shall include some of them. At times it may be
something I think you would enjoy or simply whatever ails you (me).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Values Reflect

I believe, Our values reflect what is important to us,
and with each generation those things appear to change.

When I am not in the garden and am out and about, which is seldom, I will have a list of things needed, and try to get in and out of where I'm going, for I loathe to shop. If the world had to depend upon me to boost the economy, well, it would be in a lot of trouble. A zealous consumer I am not.

I spent many years in suits, dresses and high heels in the corporate arena, but once I retired, it was like burning your bra and liberation. Simplicity and a focus on the finer, more important things of life was all I could think of. Fiscally, I am conservative and have no need to impress. I do not chastise those who want more and who can afford to buy what they want, but as for myself, I want little outside of providing for our family and enjoying them and our circle of friends and community. That which I seek is within. Besides, just how many pair of pants do I need to impress the birds and bees?

Four days a week I swim, do water aerobics, and yesterday morning was one of those occasions. Following that and with an overcast rainy day, it seemed to be a good time to shop my list and then return home to process the tomatoes just picked from the garden. Mid-morning, rainfall increasing, likely people would be staying warm and dry and preparing for Sunday football.

As I reached the parking lot, I could not believe how packed it was... vehicles waiting in every area for someone to vacate a spot. A family had gotten into their van at the farthest point from the entrance, and that was good enough for me. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, a little rain never hurts you and no one carries an umbrella.

Inside, an arrangement of disarray: a group of six standing and blocking part of the entrance, a social moment encountered; a worker at a table several feet away attempting to sell a family of five on upgrading their membership; wide aisles featuring families of four, five... walking slowly astride one another gazing aimlessly left, then right and making it difficult for anyone to get by. Aisles have been rearranged with items for Christmas. (Actually Christmas has been on the shelves since the end of August, but that disgusting practice may be for another post.)

Many stores are now serving product to taste in order to entice the consumer to buy prepackaged food items; employees are positioned at little carts with microwaves and/or grills serving up samples of tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich bites, mashed potatoes and gravy, ravioli stuffed with mozzarella and spinach... I thought of turning around to leave, but, I am here, get the few things we need and head home.

There is little room to pass as people have positioned and abandoned their carts, not in an out-of-the-way place, but diagonally across the aisle as they get in line for their taste. I dodged many a cart, and in one instance went around one such stray, stopped, reached inside a cooler to access some eggs, and was ramrodded by a middle aged man (old enough to know better) and knocked forward. I could have been hurt, was not, but someone much older could have been. I gained my balance, turned to see who had done this, and he said, "Are you hurt?! Well, you went around and I thought you would keep on going".

I simply shook my head, turned and walked away. How did he make that my fault?

At the checkout, carts were lined and filled to the brim, some overflowing, and I wondered how many people will be fed with all that food... are they the same as we in that shopping is only done once or twice a month... how is all of this affordable and can debt-strapped households continue in their trajectory of spending and charging and living on borrowed time (money).

Pushing my cart outside into the heavy rain, I quickly walked past several sections of parked cars and passing traffic, and as I turned to cross over to my vehicle, I was startled by a horn and quickly moved back. This thirty to forty-year old woman, warm and dry behind the window of her huge Suburban, was laughing at having nearly run over my cart and me. The next vehicle motioned me to cross.

I ask myself: What has happened to us? Where is the consideration and respect for others? How did we evolve into it's-all-about-me? Do our values not outwardly reflect who we are and what is important to us? Where do we go from here? Can anything put us back on track?


Thoughts for the day said...

I have to say Amen to this blog. The older I get the more I detest shopping and navigating around the people and all the other 'stuff' and the consumerism we are subjected to...goodness.
At Christmas if I can't make, buy it on line or find it on the ONE trip out for the season. They get a gift from Bimart. I do not go to the mall. ON line shopping is the easiest.

Ginny said...

I can see why you don't like shopping! Manners and common courtesy are quickly becoming a thing of the past. I have posted about using a cane, if you had one you would be treated differently. When you carry a cane, strangers are actually real nice to you, I recently did a post on this after just having to buy one for myself. BUT...what a shame that it takes having to use a cane before people will use common decency toward you! Your shopping trip is a sad commentary on these times. I put part of the blame on permissive parents who are afraid to discipline their kids because thy may damage their egos. Back when kids had some fear of their parents, and parents were not best friends, people were much more polite because they had not been foceued on exclusively as children and realized there were other people in the world with feelings of equal importance.

ρομπερτ said...

A deep bow in respect of the writing !

Please have a good Tuesday.

daily athens

lakeviewer said...

I love this train of thought! Yes, the first rains tend to rattle people a bit, and free snacks tend to attract all kinds of people. I too live in the Northwest, and the first rains did send us shopping, for all the right and wrong reasons.

Your point, though is well taken. Are we living within our means or are we still hoping for miracles?

Linda said...

I am feeling your pain doesn't matter if it's Wal-marts or Cost-co
it even happens in Albertsons too.
I try to go in the off hours and never on Sunday.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Oh, you've gone and done it. A place to rant. Oh, but I've often needed a place to rant. Like you, I've never thought my GHT site was THE site for such things and I like your solution. Another blog. Yes. I love this. AND I love your rant. Lately, since hubby's accident I've witnessed a variety of incivility, if that's the right word, if that IS a word, especially directed toward the handicapped. Grrr...maybe I need to create a new blog, too, 'cause there's lots to say about that. Oh, and as to your post today I simply do not know, Di. Your tale is a stunning example - exampleS, plural - of a world gone mad. I do not know the answer but choose to commit random acts of kindness and I love - love - being overly kind to those who treat me with disdain or with disrespect. Hm...I'm rambling. Time for more comments. I with ya, honey. Thank you!

Shady Gardener said...

Obviously to some people, others of us are not as important... I wonder if it will get worse as we (you and I) get older? I'm sorry you were a part of these experiences. But thank you for your post.

RainGardener said...

Umbrella? What's an umbrella?
Oh my goodness I can see I'm going to love this blog. You just said soooo many things I've been feeling for so long. It's all about 'me me me' and people don't even know what common courtesy is. Years ago a neighbor told me that our generation was the beginning of the apathetics. I kept thinking no not us. We're from the old school, we aren't like that. But I have to say she was right. How sad and it only got worse.
About the cane - yes, I too may be treated better when using mine but when I have to go farther and there is no cart for me to hold on to I have to use my walker. I've had people practically knock me down to get on an elevator. I guess they thought I was going to take up all the space or go too slow. And in all fairness I have to say that some people are the complete opposite and will hold a door open for me rather than run me down but they are few. There are many times I've left in tears from the way people treat others.
Guess I'd better get out of here - this is getting far too long and I could still go on and on. ;-)
Great post Di!

Southern Lady said...

I'm with you on the shopping deal. I just can't stand to shop. I try to go during the weekday morning hours when others are at school and work. I really don't know what has happened to common courtesy. I get aggrivated at our local Walmart with the crosswalks in front of the doors. I am amazed at the drivers who don't realize that they should stop to let pedestrians cross. The only think I know to do is to make sure that my childern have better manners than most of the population. Carla

Rosey said...

I have a feeling I am going to like this new blog of yours a lot.
I really used to like shopping a lot but now I just think it's over-rated.

I go as early as I can... bring a list, get in , get out and avoid those tasters carts. I have a phobia about hair and I just can't stomach finding something yucky and unmentionable in a sample.

Cathy said...

You could have written exactly the same thing about the big box store in my area. It's a nightmare until after Christmas. I think customer service has gone the way of the dinosaur. What a sad commentary on life today.

Dee said...

I can relate to your experience. I use an Omigo when I shop because of a walking disability and I find it very difficult to manuever around people. I just put on my armor of patience before I enter the store so my day does not get ruined with a bad attitude. When people are rude I just smile and kill them with kindness.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Diana, I love your new blog.... This is just my cup of tea... I totally AGREE.... I don't know what has happened to us in this country....

We have Sam's --who gives out free food... Families go there for lunch---and eat and eat and eat... Unbelievable, isn't it?????

AND don't even get me started on rudeness... It's all around us... We are living in a 'ME' society --and everything is all about what I can get for ME.... Yuk--what has happened to us???? Our ancestors would turn over in their graves....

Great post, Di... Keep 'em coming!!!

Sandra said...

this is the way of our world now, and it is a crying shame. I shop at 6:30 am on Saturday morning at our walmart. I am almost the only one in the store. that keeps me out of the way of the crowds and like you if he economy depends on me we are in big trouble.

xoxoxo said...

Love the new blog! I love shocking strangers by opening the door for them. Patience, deep breaths, and focus will get you though. Oh--and go when you are in a really great mood! That helps.

Rose said...

One of the best parts about being retired is being able to get my shopping done in the middle of a weekday! I've come to hate the crowded stores with people, who as you say, seem to have no concern for others. And rows of checkout lines...but only three are open:)

Manners seem to be considered old-fashioned these days, and yet I'm often pleasantly surprised by young men who hold a door open for me or someone who sincerely apologizes for the kind of behavior you describe.

I really enjoy your new blog! I've been thinking about a similar idea--I have lots of pet peeves I'd like to get off my chest:)

kanak7 said...

Hello Diana, I came over from Voice in the Garden the moment I read that you had a new blog. I agree with you about the kind of behavior we encounter in crowded places. I don't like to shop either. I go out to the markets only to get the necessities when I'm sure the place isn't crowded. Values aren't what they used to be. Sadly that seems to be a universal thing now.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Thank you Diana! We went to the mall yesterday, not to shop, just to pick up my new glasses. The parking lot was full. Most of the people looked like they didn't have much to spend. But they were there, spending as there was no tomorrow. Something is definitely wrong in this kingdom...