Carted Away

I’ve made a few observations about this part of the province. People are nice here. Everyone says hello, or gives a wave. A man let me in front of him in the Service Ontario office and even though I told him I had a pile of stuff to do there, he waved me off and took a seat. Maybe they can afford to be nice because they don’t seem to be in as much of a hurry. Cities hurry you up, whether you know it or not.

But there’s a phenomenon that you see sometimes in a bigger centre, but all the time, here. In fact, by not doing this, I’m in the minority. Case in point:

Woman fussing with bags at the self checkout while her purse sits open and unattended a good eight feet behind her, in the shopping cart. She has a massive package of toilet-paper rolls on the rack of the bottom of the cart.

Women leave their purses in their carts and walk away. I’ve seen a shopping cart with a purse in it while the owner has gone back to another aisle to retrieve something she forgot. A thief would be long gone with her purse before she even noticed it was missing. Women all over the stores leave their purses in their carts and don’t give it a second thought.

Just the sight of this inattention raises my blood pressure. Until it occurred to me to view it in a different way.

In a town the size of Wallaceburg (approx 12,000), if someone walks off with your possessions, you or someone in the vicinity will likely know who it is. Whenever I’ve given my address here, someone invariably responds, “Oh, the Patterson house!” Maybe, instead of bringing my having-lived-in-Toronto security awareness to Wallaceburg, I should be grateful for coming to a place where there’s trust and less concern about security. I’ll never leave my purse unattended, no matter where I go, but some of these ladies seem to have gotten through their lives okay without worrying about it, so who am I to change that?

Still, this experience has left me with a couple of important questions: Just how much was that colossal package of TP, is it two-ply and why didn’t I see it, too??

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