Or how a visit to the ice cream shop shattered my faith in humanity.
Well not really but I thought that sounded good. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but sometimes it is hard. It just seems like there are so people who have no concept of how their actions impact others around them. Or maybe I’m just being grumpy.
Anyway, we are nearing the end of a wonderful weekend. Today we might have just barely got above 80 but there was no detectable humidity and there was a breeze. All the pieces for a beautiful day to sit outside in a lawn chair in the shade and read.
After dinner, we decided to go for ice cream. There a place just a few short miles away from our house which is a blessing and a curse. And not one of those chain type places like the one with initials that serves “soft serve” which isn’t actually ice cream. If that’s your cup of tea, I’m not judging but this is a local place and they make some good stuff.
This is a small place in a strip mall. One thing they lack is a board listing their flavors and the choices vary by day. They usually have 3-4 that are always there and the rest rotate. You never know what is going to show up or when something new is going to be there. The problem is that to actually know what is available, you have to walk down the length of the cooler to see the various options.
That becomes a problem when you have large groups of people occupying space and taking FOREVER to complete their order and get the heck out of the way. Sometimes, you can squeeze around people but sometimes you get those who don’t understand the whole concept of viewing the entire selection before you order so you don’t waste time looking at the options. A quick trip up and down the little aisle to lock in on a choice saves everyone time. But when people line up and get in the way, the whole system breaks down.
Oh and don’t even get me started on the families with kids who let their kids sample a bunch of different stuff. There was this one guy who seemed to be with his four grandkids and they were just sampling almost everything. I get that it is free but if you don’t know what chocolate tastes like then there is no hope for you at all. I’m not saying you can’t sample because they’ve had weird combinations that required a taste but it is about knowing your surroundings. When there is a line out the door, the polite thing to do is to complete your order as quickly as possible and vacate the line so we can all get some ice cream. And if your kid is going to sample four things and just end up with the blue vanilla, then just start with the freaking blue vanilla.
And while I’m on the subject, here is another one of my pet peeves. As I mentioned, this is not a large place. There are 7-8 tables in the place. Three are along the wall next to the ice cream so you kind of get boxed in by the crowd. Those are designed for 2 but can seat 3 if needed. The rest can seat 4 but people pull chairs over and create all sorts of chaos. As we walk in, there’s a group of 4 taking up a table and they have long since finished their ice cream. One of them didn’t even get anything – she brought a drink from another place. And they are just going on in their conversation and showing no signs of vacating the prime real estate they are occupying.
Again, let me be clear. This is a situational thing. On a slow day, if you want to hang out with your friends and have some happy talk, no problem. But when the place is packed and there are no open tables, the polite thing to do is finish your ice cream and get the heck out. The design of the place is not for people who want to linger over their ice cream and conversation. If you want that, go to Starbucks. They expect people to take up space and keep it for an extended period of time. This place has tables so parents don’t have to worry about their kids dripping ice cream all over their cars because that’s really the only other option if the tables are full. There’s a bench outside but it was occupied and the angle is right in the sun so the ice cream just melts even faster. There is a chain donut shop next door that has one table outside (why?) and I’ve seen people use that in a pinch.
And this is why I hate crowds. With just a little awareness and what I would consider a bit of common courtesy, everyone wins. When people are more concerned with their own comfort and the hell with everyone else, then society breaks down. (Well maybe in my mind)
One last little note before I go. The upside of not being employed is that I have free time. So I’m going to spend Father’s Day weekend with Dad. I know he wants me to visit so that’s what I’m going to do.