Efforts in Kindness

being nice can backfire sometimes …and it’s not the coolest feeling. leave a parking space, see the guy next to me having car trouble, pull back into spot and mouth “need some help?”, his car fires up, reverses, and quickly blocks me from backing out. at a stop sign, older, hefty lady slowly crossing street. me: “go ahead” her: (shrieking) “i can’t walk!” then scowling the crap out of me. to her credit, she did have a foot that was all clubby-looking. to my credit, she was walking when she screamed that she couldn’t. how cool of me if i see a woman walking slowly toward me and think “she probably can’t walk” and then speed off? should have. the worst attempt at being nice occurred on a plane. i had a seat on the aisle next to a chunky, world travely-type fellow – who smelled the way canned urine probably does. tart. so, i leaned away from him for a couple hours and breathed through my mouth. when the plane landed, i watched the seat belt sign as if it was the starting gun at a track meet then darted as far up as i could go. when the doors opened, i walked past a man (who was still sitting and had made no attempt to get up until now) and his wife said, “oh, so that’s how it goes? people from the back can just get off in front of you?” i looked over at her and smiled thinking she was kidding. nope. daggers. “that’s not how it goes” who is this lady? i’ve seen that happen on every flight i’ve ever been on. still smiling, i said, “you’ll live” and exited the plane. now i’m standing in the jetway waiting in line for my bag. out comes the husband. walks past me, pauses, gives me a disgusted once over. out comes the wife – even worse, and she’s muttering, “it’s just bad manners …i mean who would …can you imagine…” over someone leaving the plane two seconds before her! so finally, i asked myself “why was i in such a hurry? that’s not like me.” the smelly guy! i had escaped hell, and these jerks were judging me? not this time. i walked over to them and apologized and told of the smelly guy. they immediately changed their tone and said, “everyone gets stressed traveling” then we parted. it still felt incomplete. and in the end i realized, i had apologized to jerks who over-react to stupid things. i should have just asked smelly to hug them.