I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

The Sidewalk People

Some conversations are best left unrecounted word for word.

It’s not that they aren’t true. It’s that there is too much truth. It hurts.

This was one of those conversations.

First, let me say, I am thankful for a straight-shooting daughter.  She tells me exactly what she thinks and feels. Sometimes it’s ugly;  sometimes it’s nice.  It’s always honest.

When she started telling me how I was screwing up as a parent, it hurt.  A lot. But she was correct in everything she was saying, and she added, “I’m not saying you and Dad are terrible parents, but I really think you can do better at this.”

I’m thankful for words like that, too.

Then she added, “It’s not like any of your kids are sidewalk people, or anything.”

“What are sidewalk people?” I asked.

campus“They are the most annoying people on the planet,” she said, rolling her eyes for emphasis. “I saw them at Cornell when I was there last weekend, and I ran into some on my campus today.”

I started picturing all the students one would see on any college campus.

“They walk in a pack,” she went, “and span the whole width of the sidewalk.  They’re pretty wide sidewalks, you know.”

Yes, I knew.  I had been on college campuses before.

“They walk three or four or five abreast, which is fine, if you’re the only one on the sidewalk. But there are tons of students going to class and they don’t move for anybody.  They don’t even acknowledge that there is anyone else trying to walk on the sidewalk. It’s like they think they’re the only ones in the world.”

I nodded in agreement. “What do you do when you run up against them?” I asked.

“I move into the grass,” she said, “which I don’t mind, except they don’t even recognize that someone had to move out of their way. I don’t exist to them.”

Sidewalk people — a new term for people who are so caught up in themselves that they don’t even see all the people around them.

It made me sad that she was going to a university where she would have to deal with that.  When she went to Christian college, everyone was so friendly and polite.  They held the door open for others.  They smiled and said hello.

Now, she has sidewalk people to contend with.

And it will only get worse when winter is upon us.

At least I didn’t raise my kids to be sidewalk people.  For that I am also thankful.


8 comments on “The Sidewalk People

  1. snoogiefisk
    September 11, 2013

    I like to walk right through the middle of them. It makes them aware of how rude they are being. The rudest won’t part though and you bump right into them but at least I wasn’t ignored!

  2. catterel
    September 11, 2013

    When I was young, slim and less confident, I would walk round them. Now I’m older, heavier and I just bulldoze them. I am polite enough to say Thank you as I force them apart, though You must be doing something right if your daughter feels free to speak so brutally honestly to you – take that as a positive! xx

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  7. 1createblogs
    September 15, 2013

    Hi there I like your post

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