The Courtesy Jog

Ever been in your car and had to slow down for a pedestrian and the person you so courteously slowed down for does a little courtesy jog, just to show he or she is grateful?  It’s funny, but it sort of closes the deal, doesn’t it?  You slow, he/she exaggeratedly jogs across the road and you zoom off.  All is right in the world.

But it’s lame isn’t it, when you slow down and the pedestrian gives nary a notice to your politeness?  It’s almost the equivalent to not getting a tip when you’re a waitress or waiter.  A tip is just sort of extra, a little bonus.  As a society, we’ve made the tip something inflated, something to be expected, but to some degree it’s unnecessary, just like that courtesy jog.  It’s totally unnecessary for the pedestrian to pump their arms and lengthen their strides just to convey to you, the driver, that they are trying to hurry across the road, albeit a cartoon-like pace.  Yet, it’s the pedestrian’s tip.  And you, the driver, appreciate it. 

Aren’t we such a funny people? 

Yesterday, I went to a Kids Market before the baby shower.  If you’ve never graced a Kids Market, let me give you a little description.  It’s like a big warehouse filled with assorted kids clothing, toys, furniture, etc.  It’s like a gigantic yard sale.  This was my first time at a Kids Market.  Next time, I’ll eke out several hours to partake of that shopping adventure, not 30 minutes.  It was like Wal-mart at Christmas, gobs of people toting colorful plastic kids toys, grocery carts piled high with assorted clothing, metal poles of broken down baby swings poking their way dangerously through the aisles.  It was a mad house. 

There I was, sifting through racks and racks of size 7 kids clothing, trying to determine if this particular dress would make my daughter’s dress code, examining this certain sweater for holes or color distortions, tsking at prices (for real, just because it has a Gap Kids tag does not mean that a simple shirt needs to be $10.00, come on people).  Anyways, so here I am, making my way down this giant garage sale rack, playing chicken with another mother laden with her merchandise.  We meet somewhere in the middle and, in effort to show her I was a polite, civilized shopper, I sort of did this very exaggerated step to the side, lest we collide.  I even did this stupid giggle, like fancy meeting you here, please excuse me, no really, you first…it was the shopping equivalent to the courtesy jog.  Completely unnecessary.  I could have silently moved aside with as little movement as was required, but instead I did an awkward, oops, pardon me move. 

Can you think of any other silly things we do like that?

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Hilarious. Reminds me of Brian Regan’s bit on the pinky wave when another driver lets you over.

    Reply

  2. I knew what this was going to be about just from reading the title. Weird, huh? I do it, but I never had a name for it though. I like “courtesy jog”.

    I have alot of those little “courtesy chuckles” too (I’m not really a giggler). I think sometimes its the best way to hang on to our civility. Or sometimes maybe the only way…

    Beats the hell out of the anonymity of the internet unleashing everyone’s “inner ass—-” (courtesy edit).

    I’d take a courtesy jog over a flame war an day.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Kamryn on October 1, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Is that like when you’re in Wal-Mart and you see a frazzled mom with a toddler running away from her — in your direction — so you grab said kid by the arm, wait for the mom and smile as you hand over her hellion, exchanging some pleasantry like “We moms have to stick together?”

    Wait, maybe that’s just me…

    Reply

  4. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on October 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Hmm, your “We moms have to stick together” is way nicer than my “I have a heathen child, too”.

    Reply

  5. How about when you’re coming up to a stoplight and you pause so another driver can pull out in front of you? I’ve never heard of the pinky wave, I prefer a full-fledged hand flapping from side to side so fervently that you can see it through tinted windows in the dark. I get really irritated when I don’t get a thank you wave on the road.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Cristy on October 2, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Actually, I was a waitress. A waitress only makes about $2.50 an hour, (which gets taken by taxes), so A waitress depends entirely on tips for her salary. So, a tip is actually inperative for the waitress’ survival. just wanted ev everyone to know so that when they are thinking about the poor waitress who depends on our tips for her salary. So, that’s my soapbox. Sorry, I know that is totally outside of the realm of the blog, but I just wanted to raise awareness.

    Reply

  7. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on October 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    A Public Service Announcement brought to you by Cristy.

    On behalf of all the ignoramus such as I, I apologize from the bottom of my cheap-skate heart for telling the world that tipping is unnecessary. To put your mind at ease, I ALWAYS tip, even if the service was lousy. And $2.50/hour? I hope getting tips is worth it because, dang. That’s the worst pay I’ve ever heard.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Cristy on October 3, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I just reread my blog comment, and it was totally incoherent. So sorry. I was on the phone with my sister when I typed that. I figured that you tipped. I was leaving that comment for people such as my Nana, who wouldn’t leave a tip if her life depended on it because “those waitresses already make money, they don’t need mine”. Anyway, thabks for listening.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Mom on October 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I think Cristy’s Nana and my mother are related because that is exactally what my mother tells me when I try to leave a tip for the waitperson “Don’t do THAT! They already get paid to do this job”…shoot, I wouldn’t do that kind of job for all the tea in China. As for other silly things we do, how about when you’re driving down the road (or riding, in my case) and giving a little smile and waive at the pedestrian walking down the road…and that person like TOTALLY ignores you or looks at you like “Who the hell are YOU waiving at?! I go from feeling all neighborly to silly to stupid to kinda hostile (‘honey, drive closer to the sidewalk, will ya?) in about 10 seconds flat. And how about when you run into somebody in the grocery isle, you move to the right to pass them and they move to the left to pass you so you end up doing a little kind of dance and you SAY “wanna dance?” and they look at you like you are a totally CRAZY person let loose in the store? As to Kam’s comment about stopping the fleeing child, I’d be afraid the parent would scream “she’s stealing my child! Stop her”. Guess I’ve been reading too much Dean Koontz.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Aunt Shanon on October 17, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I always raise my hand to wave “thank you” to the people who let me cross the street. Most people in my town are fairly decent about stopping to let a fat chick in a wheelchair cross the street. If I’m in the store, the 3rd time I cross paths with the same person, I usually make a remark that we will have to stop meeting like this because my husband is getting suspicious. Most of the time that brings a smile or a laugh.

    Reply

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