NaBloPoMo (11/2016) – Day 14: Before and After

My car was overdue for an oil change. Overdue in miles, not time. I was barely past the suggested 3 months. But I was about 1,300 miles past the recommended mileage. With colder weather heading our way, I figured I should take the time to get this done.  Plus, it’s a task that was easy to accomplish – go to my normal dealership where people there know me by name (or at least by vehicle), go to a very early morning appointment on a weekday, sit in the waiting room listening to music and/or reading a book for about an hour. Easy.

And I was right. It was easy. As expected, I gave them my car, chatted a bit with the service guy, and went to the waiting area to have a seat. I did listen to some music – the dealership has decent WiFi and I was able to stream a playlist. But I didn’t read. I paid a bit of attention to the TV. I took off my earphones when Good Morning America showed the Beauty and the Beast trailer. I mumbled “asshole” under my breath when they talked about the person who is bringing legitimized hate to the White House in January (a Black woman was sitting at the table next to me – she chuckled quietly and winked at me). I cleaned up some files on my tablet.

But I also did some thinking. Here I was, sitting at the dealership where I purchased my car – and the two before this one and my mother’s car – and where I’d come dozens of times for oil changes and service. It was a very normal thing to do in a world that’s not really normal anymore. But for this little bubble of the world, it was normal. It was just like all of the other times I’d sat in that waiting room. Admittedly, there was less mumbling profanities during my other visits.

I made a couple of other quick trips out today – again to familiar places. I’m fortunate that I don’t need to go very far out of my own neighborhood for things.

I’ve been thinking about things I did and ways I behaved prior to the election versus things I do and ways I behave now after the election. Here’s what I came up with:

Before

  • I made eye contact with people I was talking to.
  • I held the door open for people entering a building behind me – sometimes I would let them go before me, too.
  • When people held the door for me, I’d say, “Thank you.”
  • If I needed to pass by someone looking at something on a shelf at the grocery store, I would say, “Excuse me” and then “Thank you” when I passed.
  • When I made a purchase at the local convenience store and the cashier asked if I would like a bag, I would say, “Yes, please” or “No, thank you.”
  • Every now and then, when going through a drive-thru at a fast food place, I would pay for the person in the car behind me. I’d ask the person who took the payment to tell the person behind me to have a nice meal and to ask that person to pay it forward.
  • If we’re having inclement weather (rainy, cold, etc.), I’d let people cross the street or stop for them in a store parking lot so that they can get to where they are going quicker, even if I had the right of way. After all, I was warm and dry in my car. The extra 30 seconds wasn’t going to impact me, but it may have made  a big difference to that person.

After

  • I make eye contact with people I’m talking to.
  • I hold the door open for people entering a building behind me – sometimes letting them go before me, too.
  • When people hold the door for me, I say, “Thank you.”
  • If I need to pass by someone looking at something on a shelf at the grocery store, I say, “Excuse me” and then “Thank you” when I pass.
  • When I make a purchase at the local convenience store and the cashier asks if I would like a bag, I say, “Yes, please” or “No, thank you.”
  • Every now and then, When going through a drive-thru at a fast food place, I will pay for the person in the car behind me. I’ll ask the person who takes the payment to tell the person behind me to have a nice meal and to ask that person to pay it forward.
  • If we’re  having inclement weather (rainy, cold, etc.), I’ll let people cross the street or stop for them in a store parking lot so that they can get to where they are going quicker, even if I have the right of way. After all, I’ll be warm and dry in my car. The extra 30 seconds isn’t going to impact me, but it could make a big difference to that person.

Ultimately, the core values that help define who I am have not changed. Nor will they ever.

2 thoughts on “NaBloPoMo (11/2016) – Day 14: Before and After

  1. I got nervous when I thought the ‘after’ section was going to be something else. So many people on FB have been saying that everything has changed for them and they find themselves behaving or interacting differently, it was a great relief to see that, as you say, on a personal level, we remain who we are, and interact with others the way we always have. (So I guess the “asshole” mumble will also remain indefinitely…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • There will be some changes in the future. That goes without saying. But not to the core of my being. I won’t let the people who have legitimized hatred take away the essentialness of who I am.

      Like

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