June 25, 2004

Ricebowls and butting.

We had Chinese take-out for dinner tonight. My wife had a mid-term today, and I spent all day being entirely unproductive. After being fuller than a person who didn't accomplish anything today really has a right to be, I suggested that we head to the local Panera Bread for some after-dinner coffee. After not cooking or washing dishes, who feels like making coffee in a French press and then cleaning it up, really? And it is unseasonably cool in Southern Illinois tonight. The moonroof and some Van Morrison would be nice ("Moondance" comes to mind). Our Panera Bread has a doorway on the corner of the building, and there are two sets of doors that lead into the vestibule and the one set of doors that actually enters the cafe'. I politely held the door for these two country-styled gents, and they didn't thank me. Okay, not everyone actually thanks you for that. Whatever. But then they decided that it would be a good idea to pretend they were looking at the pastry case -- and then butt in front of me. Jerks. The same thing happened last Sunday, when my friend Chris was in town. Only that day, I actually stood there for a second holding the door for the geezer who butted in front of us all that day. Jerk. When we were on our way out tonight, a nice father held the door for my wife and for me. He got two "thank you"s, and we got two "you're welcome"s. I think it's funny that it has happened twice now -- not really mad, or even annoyed, at all. Being from the South*, holding doors and opening doors and thanking people comes pretty naturally. Well, being my father's son makes it come naturally. What the people in the Heartland sometimes lack in politeness, they usually make up for in charm and warm hearts. I always say that the people I have encountered in Southeastern Missouri (around Cape Girardeau) are some of the nicest people in the world. I loved my two years in Massachusetts, but I never felt at home there. These nice Heartlanders made me feel reasonably welcome right away. The folks around here would bend over backwards for you if you needed them. Just don't hold the door for anyone at Panera Bread. *[If you don't think Maryland is part of the South, you've most likely never been to much of that great state.]

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