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January 17, 2021

Tripping over grace

At a certain age, the switch gets flipped, so that saying, “Back in my day” or “Get off my lawn” is just a part of everyday speech. You may also start offering a butterscotch to the younger generation as they roll their eyes.
 Remember a few months back, when I mentioned karma, and aquiring the big, red, old timey scale in my kitchen? It seems that good deeds and manners take up a lot of my brain space in public.
 I think it goes back to when I was a kid. I can remember my mom telling me and my sister from a very early age, that bad manners and temper tantrums would not be tolerated. In retrospect, these lessons were more to drive home the point that our misbhahavior was more of a refletion on her than on us, when she said things like,”When we go out, I don’t want people to say, “Here come the Mulrys, and their obnoxious kids.’” Mom was subtle like that.
 I honestly think that I spend an inordinate amount of time fretting about not reaching the door in a timely manner when someone is holding it open for me to enter. It’s really the only time I break into a run.
 I smile when I say, “thank you” and look them in the eye, as I stumble breathlessly past them after the exhausting 15 foot jog.
 Once inside -ususally Starbucks, I’ll admit it, – I now have a fresh dilemma. The nice man who held the door open for me, was not actually relinquishing his place in a line that practically snakes out the door on a 90 degree Sunday afternoon.
 How to be smooth and step aside so that he can regain his rightful place in line ahead of me? Grace is not something I’m familiar with; usually tripping over a chair, a display, my own feet.  
 Normally, it’s my awkwarndess that makes it so much easier for Nice Man to walk quickly past me, avoiding further eye contact. Whatever. He’s in front of me where he belongs. It doesn’t matter how he got there.
 Since I’ve embarrassed myelf for the umpteeth time in a public setting, as I wait for my coffee, I watch several people come and go. Some are polite, while others breeze through, as if the door opened with Star Trekian ease, on its own. It frustrates me, and I hear my inner geezer, lamenting the bygone days of general politeness. And hats. How come no one wears hats anymore?
 Usually, when confronted with a solictor at my front door, despite the charmingly framed “No Soliciting” sign, I politely say, “No, thank you,” and close the door.
 Recently, I was faced with a 75-year old man, tasked with getting me to change my internet service provider. I was going to do the same, but he kept talking, and I didn’t want to interrupt (thanks, Mom). After several minutes into his filibuster (Seriously, I don’t think this guy ever took a breath), The Husband appeared from around the door, said a quick “No thanks,” and closed the door in a fluid motion.
“But… but… that’s someone’s Gampy!” I cried.
Gampy was still talking to the closed door.
 I mean, I would have evenutually said, “Get off my lawn…. Please.”
________________________________________________________________________ Email Kelly Sinon at [email protected]

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