This past Memorial weekend I had a couple of interesting things happen to me. We had the usual family activities that you have as a big family but there were some moments that did not include family that refreshed my faith in humanity.
I have often billed myself as ‘shy as a child and private as an adult’. As an aspiring author if I am too shy or private there’s not much hope that I will ever be a successful author.
I have through the years not had a lot of love for a huge chunk of humanity and at times may have found myself in the ‘not loved’ portion of humanity, but as time as gone on and worn me down and also softened my heart I have found that I am rather fond of folks. Definitely some more than others but overall as humans we are not a bad lot, for the most part; myself included.
I have become more outgoing in a small way but at the same time I want to respect others privacy and I do have an occasional panic attack around huge crowds. I will say hello to complete strangers when appropriate but stop there unless there is a reason to continue. My natural tendency is not to be too trusting, a lesson hard learned for an Idaho country boy in the Marine Corps.
Race, religion or politics have no bearing on who I like or dislike. As a Vietnam Era Marine I saw a lot of racial incidents both in and out of the Corps and actually spent a week in the Brig and lost a stripe for ‘inciting to riot’, at least that was what the charges were. Really out of character for me but that’s another story. Not then or now have I ever been the one to throw the first punch and the only time I ever did I knocked the guy down twice and he still wouldn’t fight me. Since then the other guy had to throw the first punch to get the fight going; no punches were thrown this past Memorial weekend.
The players were myself, a past his prime white guy, a black chick that had personality oozing out of every pore of her body, she would have been early 30’s, a seriously cool gal, a white chick in her early 30’s and a black guy in his late 30’s or early 40’s. I only use black, white, middle aged or chick to describe the players, chick being a term of the 60’s; if any of that offends you then you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog. I’m not a racist, bigot or sexist; anyway on with my story. Also I’m not foolish enough to guess a women’s age but in setting the stage for my story I have to give you some idea of their age and character; it ads to the depth of the story.
Friday of Memorial weekend I pulled into the Snappy Lube to have the oil changed in my car, they were not too busy so I sat down to read for a few minutes figuring on a short wait. A few seconds later I heard another car pull up and a women’s voice talking to the serviceman. In a moment she walks in and say’s ‘hello’, I glanced up from my magazine and said ‘hello’ in response and she asked my how I was doing. The conversation took off from there and she was fun and engaging to talk with. A military spouse, they had came from Kadena airbase in Okinawa to Mountain Home; what an incredible polar opposite; hot and humid to hot and dry as well as cold and dry.
My tour of duty as a Vietnam Era Marine had came to and end in Okinawa so I was familiar with the island; had you overheard the conversation you would have thought we were old friends. She was a neat gal and fun to visit with.
After the oil change I went to the local Walmart to grab a few things, while I was waiting in the self checkout line and the line was long enough that it had a Y in it but everyone was courteous and respectful of theirs and others position in the line, a guy behind me said to a young gal that had just a few items that she might as well go ahead. She was in the other part of the line and looked at me to see if it was okay. She was hesitant to go ahead and I told her by all means it was just fine. After a few seconds when a register became available she decide that myself and the guy behind me were serious about her going ahead of us. In less than a minute two other registers became available and we were all out of there at about the same time.
Myself and the guy behind me didn’t say much to each other but he was cool about it and had a very easy going demeanor.
Big deal you say, or whoopee, good for you in a serious or mocking tone, your choice; you’re right, it is a big deal.
Idaho has been a very courteous state to grow up in, live in and raise a family in, but we are fast losing our reputation for being courteous.
I’m not going to end my post on a sour note by citing a whole slew of incidents that I have witnessed the past few years from poor or dangerous driving to rude behavior in a local store but occasional moments such as these refresh my faith in humanity. Just remember that at the end of the day no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender or age we are all part of the HUMAN RACE.