Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Older Lady, A Table and Two Chairs

This made me smile.  I'm sitting here in the Borders cafe, reading Daniel Dafoe's Journal of the Plague Years (free, online), when this little old lady wearing a long, thick black coat, with her hair done up and sprayed rather heavily, walked slowly to a nearby table, dragged slowly back to her table the chair that those people had borrowed from her table, set it firmly on the other side of her little table--I'm looking at it now, the two chairs are fitted perfectly across from each other, pushed in, just so--and picked up her napkin, threw it away, and picked up her magazines, put them away, and then looked over her table, realized that it was neat and the way she had found it--if not better--and walked away.  All of that very slowly, very deliberately, and with no other purpose than that's the way it's supposed to be.  That's what you do.  You clean up after yourself, throw your own napkins away, put your own magazines away, and replace anything that had been taken back to where it belongs.  The people who had borrowed the chair from her table hadn't returned it to her table, so she went and brought it back.  Slowly.  This lady must've been 75 if she was a day.  People half her age--hell, a third her age--are not as well-mannered as this.

I'm probably not, either.  Maybe you're not, too.  This is a dying trend: the belief that things should be just so, and that you're responsible for making it that way.  Especially if it had been that way when you got there.  You clean up after yourself in this life.  I'm looking at the table and chairs again: the chairs are perfectly opposite each other and both pushed in as far as they can go, both touching the round base of the center leg of the table.  They are EXACT, facing each other, and this lady was not suffering from any sort of anal retention/obsessive compulsion behavior.  She just put things back the way they were.

This struck me as so unusual and wonderful that I just had to write about it.  I took a picture of it with my cell phone--again ruing the fact that I never take my camera with me when I know that moments like this happen to me all the time--and I hope to put the picture with this entry.  I did it!!!  YAY!!!

And I have to say, for those of us of a certain age, that there are two important things here: that it seems as if fewer people are raised this way (as this lady had been) and that, hey, I took a picture with my cell phone, emailed it from the phone to my email, saved that picture from the email to my Mac, and then uploaded the picture from my Mac to the blog.  This is quite unbelievable to me.

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