14 October 2008

Soapbox Time

Book cover of Yep, it's soapbox time. I really didn't have a topic for the day but one dropped itself nicely in my lap this evening.

So I've mentioned that I live in northern Utah, where the population is predominantly Mormon.

I remember dating a girl while I was serving in the Army who pointed out that the Mormons she knew were all nice. How accurate that statement is. Mormons are just nice. Much the way southern and Evangelical ladies are nice when they say "well bless your heart." Anyone who knows a southern belle knows how damning that phrase can be. Much like Sarah Palin recently shut down a heckler in a recent speech.

Mormons are a different type of nice. It is a self-effacing screw you type of nice. My case in point: Tonight I went to the local grocery store to pick up a can of whipped cream. As I'm hitting the checkout line a lady rushes to make sure that she was in front. I really didn't mind. I really wasn't in that big of a hurry. My family was waiting for me to return with the whipped cream so we could have it with the pumpkin pie slated for dessert.

As we move forward in the queue and she is the next in line, she sends her son to the far side of the store to grab a Pepsi for his brother. Recognize that I have only one item. The person behind me has two items, the person behind them has only one item. Rather than doing what I (and any considerate person) would have done and let others go ahead until her son returned, she allowed the checker to start ringing up her items. And we waited . . . and waited . . . and waited for her son to return.

The lady was obviously uncomfortable with the delay she was causing everyone. She started avoiding everyone's eyes and saying she was sorry. Indeed, she was very nice. And so was I. I suffer from the same affliction of being nice.

I wish I could be more like my friend John. I don't know if it is because he is Australian, or because he is an "A" type personality. Regardless, I know that his response to the lady's claim to being sorry would have been "no, you are not. If you were truly sorry, you would do something to remedy the situation. You would have thought ahead and allowed others to go ahead until your son returned. So, no, you aren't sorry."

But, golly, she sure was nice.
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