How to Charm Me

Thank you, Old Man at Costco, who after seeing I had a 18-lb. baby strapped to my front and a shopping cart full of produce, didn't hesitate for a moment to insist on picking up my two cases of bottled water and loading them onto the bottom of my cart. Sometimes, the sweetness of strangers just amazes me.

It's people like this 75+ year-old man who make up for the other assholes in the world, namely the dude at the post office who stared blankly at me as I carried a baby-loaded pumpkin seat in one hand and a laundry basket full of packed manila envelopes in the other. As I tried to hold the pumpkin seat, balance the laundry basket on my hip and open the door to the post office, he looked at me and said, "Wow, you have your hands full." Thank you, sir. Why, yes, I do.

And then, while walking out of the post office, a woman and her 7 or 8 year-old daughter were entering the building. Again, I had a pumpkin seat in one arm, a laundry basket in the other. Having just mailed all my packages, the laundry basket was empty. None the less, my hands were still full, and it was obvious, as I struggled to open the door to leave the post office. The mother and her daughter just watched as I wrangled to exit the post office lobby. It's not like they did not see me; I heard the little girl say, "Mommy, look at the little baby!"

It's not like I expect people to just cater to me since I have a baby. But, please. Please let me raise Greta to not just say "please" and "thank you" when expected but to go out of her way to do the little things, like holding the door open for strangers -- whether their hands are full or not. I want her to treat others how she would like to be treated. Common courtesy seems like common sense to me.