This column is written in defense of a very misunderstood group in our society: those of us who are always in a hurry.
Although we are a minority, there are many of us who live among you in suburbia. And not all of us are originally from New York.
Most of us simply care about our lives too much to let you waste it by failing to have your car in gear when the light turns green.
We are an oppressed, disenfranchised people. Others don’t understand that if the person driving the car in front of us comes to a complete stop at a stop sign, when there’s clearly no reason to even slow down, we will momentarily consider driving on the sidewalk to pass him.
Why do we lose our minds at a person’s inability to care about the fleeting seconds of life being wasted?
Allow me to explain.
When you drive in front of us so slowly that bicyclists yell out “On your left!” as they pass you, you don’t just represent yourself.
In that moment, when we’re staring at your tail lights, you represent everything in this world that we’re stuck behind. You aren’t just “the car in front of us.” You’re our mortgage, rebellious teenage kids, parents who won’t stop annoying us, and the guy at work trying to take our jobs. So get out of the way!
Now, we do understand you, the “stop to smell the roses” people. We appreciate that for you, life is about staying in the moment, living in the now. But please try to remember that every time you try to share a bit of your bliss with the downtrodden, stand-on-my-feet-for-eight-hours-asking-if-people-have-a-club-card supermarket employees, you are draining the life force of the five people behind you in line.
We, the people in a hurry, also wish to live in the now. We just don’t want our “now” to include listening to you tell some employee of the month where your niece went on her field trip.
We understand that by conversing with the grocery checker, you may think you’re creating a kinder, gentler world. Trust me, the person behind the scanner has used up every ounce of his or her mental gigabytes memorizing the price codes for apples and zucchini. That doesn’t mean the worker isn’t an intelligent person. But he or she is at work right now, and can’t hear you.
Wasting their time by recommending a book you just finished reading is like whispering algebra into a St. Bernard’s ear.
So the next time you see a guy or girl giving you the stink eye because when the bank teller asked if you’d like to open a savings account, you actually said yes, please show us the respect you would any minority — and hurry up!
Jeremy Greenberg is an Eastside resident, writer and comedian, and the author of the book, Relative Discomfort: The Family Survival Guide (Andrews McMeel). Learn more at www.relativediscomfort.com.