Things I Don’t Get

There are a lot of things I don’t get in this world, and yet so many of them are so prevalent, that I think something must be wrong with me. I find myself wondering about what everyone else seems to accept as normal or the obvious, when to me none of it seems that way. I’ll give you some examples.

I have never understood the immobilizing effects of escalators. Why is it that when able-bodied people–that is, not among the injured, encumbered, or aged–get on escalators, they stop moving? I mean they come to a dead halt and let the moving be done by the stairs alone. Don’t they want some exercise, don’t they want to get there faster, don’t they just want to keep moving? Obviously not, and this is what I don’t I don’t understand. I routinely wait at the bottom of escalators so that the last of the immobilized can get off before I begin my ascent, not to be blocked in my rise to the top by these bodies clogging the artery. I want to keep moving.

And then, perhaps in a similar vein, why is it that able bodied people–in their 20’s and 30’s–allow grocery store personnel to push their grocery carts to their cars and then unload those carts for them? What is the point? Are they helpless? Are they pretending to be rock stars or royalty, and being waited on adds to the delusion? I can understand if it is a mother trying to manage kids and groceries all at once, of if there is an elderly person or someone with physical problems that make unloading the contents of a grocery cart into a car difficult, but I don’t get the impersonating royalty bit. It is so silly.

Now here’s a good one. What in the world is it about men that makes them think they have to spit? Is their make-up so different from that of women that there is a biological need to eject whatever is in their mouth at pre-determined intervals? Have you ever seen women spitting on the street–or anywhere else? Or maybe men consider spitting to be a manly thing to do. Yuck. In my opinion few things are as offensive or make a man look more uncivilized than spitting. I really don’t get it.

Grocery store logic is another concept that eludes me, and what’s worse, is that it is different in every grocery store. I’m talking about the way the store is arranged. If you doubt this, try going into a grocery store that you’re not familiar with. Try to find the simplest of things and see how long it takes you. One assumes there must be some kind of logic to the organization, but which logic? Many can apply.

The other day I was looking for shoe polish in the grocery store I consider ‘mine.’ Shoe polish has always before been in the same department with household cleaners. That sort of makes sense—floor cleaning products and shoe cleaning products seem to go together. So that’s where I went and looked. And not finding any, I went back and looked again–surely I must have somehow missed it. But, no, it definitely was not there. Finally I found someone to ask. The shoe polish had been moved to the aisle with the frozen foods. Frozen foods? Who on earth would ever have looked there? Illogical logic for sure. Or perhaps no logic was involved at all.

In France I found grocery store logic to have a decidedly French twist. The sought-after object was cat litter. OK–I found the cat and dog food. My logic says that pet supplies are all grouped together–food, leashes, toys, and litter. My logic was wrong. I don’t know if the problem was that the prevailing logic was French or that it was that of grocery stores, but the litter was at the other end of the store in the gardening supplies. Gardening supplies? What exactly is the relationship there? Who ever would have guessed that one? And yet the French pride themselves in logic.

And how about people who refuse to use or even learn to use the internet? I mean people who have fully functioning brains and are not living in caves. It amazes me to meet someone my age, or sometimes younger, who refuses to use the internet for information or e-mail for communication. Of course my first question is “why?” So far I have yet to hear a logical answer to that.

How can these non-internet/non-e-mail people ever keep up with anything when the rest of the world is communicating fast and furiously while they sit at their desks painfully cranking out some handwritten message that, by the time it’s received will seem to have been delivered by the pony express of two centuries ago? Talk about not keeping up with the times–or anything else. I know. Maybe they actually want to appear old and out-of-it. I hope so, because that is exactly what they are so effectively doing.

Maybe some things just defy explanation and I should leave it at that. But somehow that just isn’t possible for me to do…and that is something I don’t get either.

Internet Explorer 6 or older browser detected. This website is functional only in Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 7+ and other internet standards compliant browsers. Please visit this site using a current browser.